Last night, I doused my hands in moisturizer, slid a pair of cotton socks over them, and went downstairs to watch a movie with my fiance. It wasn’t until I was comfortably snuggled on the couch and resting my face on one of my sock-puppet hands that I realized how normal this was to me/us. And how funny it was that this was normal. It got me to thinking about all of the “normal” things that an eczema/allergy sufferer does that don’t seem odd or different because they are just a part of life.
So I compiled this list knowing that several of my allergy/eczema followers can relate. And those of you who can’t relate, consider yourselves lucky! However, everyone has their own little “normalcies” that they do in the privacy of their own homes. Care to share some of yours? Errr nothing creepy. I don’t want to know if you save your boogers and build small-scale versions of your favorite cities in the back of your closet with the little gems.
You might have eczema if…
1. You wear socks on your hands to bed
2. You sometimes wake up in bloody sheets
3. You wake up in bloody sheets and aren’t concerned
4. You wake up in bloody sheets and no longer look for the source of the blood on your body
5. You have itching scars on your back, behind the knees, and elbow pits
6. You say things like “my skin doesn’t like it when I eat tomatoes”
7. Your family members text you things like “how’s your skin?” Recently my sister, Christina, pointed out to me how funny this was. She sent me that exact text and then said “think if you didn’t have eczema how creepy that question would be?!” So true!
8. A hot shower is fun for about 4 minutes. Then you start clawing at your body like a schizophrenic meth head
9. You have tried every single lotion/cream/ointment/salve on the market to help the dryness and itching. Nothing works. Ever. When you see commercials advertising a new, all-natural, medicine-free, proven formula to stop itching and eczema permanently, you drunkenly (even though you haven’t been drinking) throw something at the TV while screaming profanity at the filthy liars
10. You have cried because your skin hurts and it’s just exhausting
11. You have cried because your skin feels good and looks amazing, and wish it could stay like that forever
12. You constantly ask people (even people you just met) to “scratch my arm” or “rub my back” because it magically turns off the itching desire and puts the whole body into a state of relaxtion. I live to be scratched and rubbed, I am 100% convinced that I was a dog in my past life. Seriously, I even like to be scratched behind my ears!
13. Your favorite place in the world is the ocean in the summertime, it heals every scab, rash, and blemish. As long as there is fresh water to rinse off in as soon as you exit the water- HOLY BURNING!
14. Nothing in your shower smells “herbal” or “sensuous” or like “lavender fields of marshmallows and cupcakes.” Instead, there are big, ugly bottles with words like “free and clear” and “tar” and soap that doesn’t lather
15. You know what the “itching trance” feels like. You get home from work, rip off your work clothes, and just enjoy itching every spot of your body for a few minutes while staring at a spot on the wall
16. You love steroids. And also hate them with a passion
17. You get asked questions like “whats wrong with your <insert body part here>?” or “why don’t you put some lotion on?” If only it were that simple…
18. You meet other people with eczema/allergies and instantly have a new best friend
19. You’ve tried every diet known to mankind, and not to lose weight
20. You realize how difficult skin issues can be, but are also grateful that it is nothing more serious. I mean come on, you could have Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.
Stay tuned for my next post: I Missed My Calling as an Artist.
PS for those of you staying current on the wedding day countdown, we are only 6 days away! And my skin is looking great! All smiles here.
37 thoughts on “You Might Have Eczema If…”
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Omg, thank you for this (I’m sorry I only found this now). I relate to everything on this list and I am so happy you mentioned the random night bleeding and scratch marks. I had to switch to dark sheets to avoid the tell tale signs (my mom would always make me feel bad for the uncontrollable sleep scratching). Thank you, really, for sharing this. And thank you to the other commentors for sharing your stories
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, but sorry you can relate! I have a pair of white sheets and I always feel a little sketched out getting into them haha! I’ve definitely had to rip them off in the morning and throw them in the washer b/c of blood stains. Ugh. Things non-eczema people never have to deal with!
I hope you don’t feel bad about the night scratching, there is NOTHING you can do about it! Some things help (socks on hands) but if you’re anything like me you just rip those off in your sleep.
I’m here anytime you want to vent/talk about things 🙂
I kept wondering how in the world the love/hate relationship with steroids hadn’t made the list. And then there it was! I remember wishing that I had a valid reason for some high dose steroids in the weeks leading up to my wedding. And then I developed a severe case of bursitis about 10 days in advance of the big day. I was never so thrilled to be in such pain!!! Of course, it also turned me into Bridezilla. But that was for everyone else to worry about.
In addition to your list…
– You avoid the sun and tanning beds not because you are concerned about skin cancer, but because years of eczema have left you with blotchy patches of skin that is without pigment.
– You ignore the latest fashions, instead selecting clothing and hair styles by how much of the inflamed skin they can cover.
Hahaha ooooh yeah a bride on steroids sounds kinda scary!! I happened to be pms’ing the week before our wedding so that must have been fun for others around me too, lol.
Funny you mention tanning/blotchiness, I’m on my way home from Hawaii right now and I had about 2 days of beautiful, tan, golden skin and now I’m starting to resemble a crocodile or a shedding snake haha. Hot.
And YES!!! So many people can’t understand how horrible certain pieces of clothing can feel on eczema skin!
Thanks for your input!! Looking forward to checking out your blog.
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This is painfully funny…and all too familiar! My contribution to the list is: You cut yourself while chopping veggies and don’t even know it…until you see a mysterious red tinge mixing with your cauliflower… UGH!!
Also, someone commented about salt baths/scrubs… A lukewarm soak in epsom salt has been helpful for me. Maybe you can put a little salt sachet in your honeymoon suitcase. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re relaxed and enjoying your family.
haha ouch yes, the cauliflower one does sound familiar!!
I think that is a great idea about the epsom salts! MMMmmm how nice it’d be to play in the sun all day then soak in a salt bath. HEAVEN! Thanks for the tip!
Yes, to every single one of these! Going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal, I’d have to add “Vacuuming up dead skin flakes” as one of my dreaded daily activities. Ugh. It’s so gross/annoying. Can’t wait for this to be over!
YES!! Vacuuming could probably happen every few hours! I change my sheets every 3-4 days too. Hey at least we are REALLY CLEAN people!
Oh … I do not suffer from this. This WAS actually very informing. In fact, it was not just informative…it was interesting too.
Ok…so I am getting to this late…so the count down is now…4 days wooooooo
Yep, and now 3 days EEK!!!
That sounds so horrible, my sympathies! Also, 6 days away, that’s so soon! Is it all excitement or last minute panic?
No worries, it’s not always that bad!! Yep- 5 days now eek!!! I had about an hour of panic today when dealing with some issues with our sound setup for the ceremony but other than that? Pure excitement and joy. To be honest I can’t believe how relaxed I feel. I just cannot WAIT to see my friends and family.
Oh….and get married.
Amen to #10 and #11.
Btw, LOVE THAT PICTURE AT THE END OF YOUR POST. = )
Thanks! 10 and 11, yes definitely. In fact, yesterday I had some happy tears b/c of clear skin. And not wanting it to EVER change. But I guess it’s good, it makes me appreciate these good skin days SO much more.
I do understand much of this, dear Courtney, and really feel for you! I’m bringing you my essay, “In Praise of Skin” this week and can hardly wait to see you. Also making you and Isaac a music CD. Any favorite songs you’d like on it?
Thanks, Behba!! I cannot WAIT to see you in 4 days! ❤
My skin is bad, but clearly I don’t have exzyma. So sorry!
No need for that, it’s quite alright! Like I said, it can ALWAYS be worse. Just feels good to vent about it every now and then and try and find the humor in it! Sorry your skin drew the short straw too 😉
THIS POST IS AMAZING!!!! I relate to every single one as well. I LOVE THIS POST! I especially love #9, #14, and #15. I’m glad your skin is behaving for your wedding…. wow less than a week, I’m so excited for you!!!!
Glad you like it!! Dude, number 15 is intense. And I never really realized other people did that too until recently!! I’m sad you can relate, but glad to have people to relate to haha.
And thank you, I’m very excited!!
I didn’t either until you and eczemaexcellence mentioned it! Haha.
hahah so crazy. It’s the best/worst thing ever. I actually found something that puts you into a similar trance state without tearing up the skin, you know those head scratcher things? Feels SO GOOD and kinda numbs my body in a good way, the same way “the trance” does haha.
I relate to every single one of these, haha. Awesome.
Figured you would 🙂 Anything I missed?? hahah
Hmmm…. If you dread showers, because you know the water will sting your cuts, scratches and wounds, LOL. I do not find showers of any temperature relaxing! Do you?
True that! Feels like there may as well be salt/lemon water pouring out of the faucet onto your skin! Youch.
LOVE love the artistic interpretation of Eczema 😀 Glad things are going well with it, now! I’ll be thinking of you this week!
Thank you! Clearly I should have gone to an art school…what was I thinking?!
And I appreciate it! I can’t believe how non-stressed I feel. Just excited to see everyone! I kinda almost keep forgetting that we are getting MARRIED, I just keep thinking about all my friends and family who I’ll get to play with hahaha.
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA I immediately saw that drawing and thought of our conversation about that other eczema cartoon, ahahahaha. This is much more accurate. You’re amazing. And this post is hilarious.
Oh and #7 had me almost dying.
LOL yes I think that horrible, non-realistic drawing inspired me to make my own little itchy girl drawing. Glad you enjoyed it, I KNEW you’d relate hahaha 😀
I know, #7 still makes me laugh to this day. I had never even thought about it like that before. Sounds very hannibal lecter-ish if you don’t know the situation hahah.
“I live to be scratched and rubbed, I am 100% convinced that I was a dog in my past life. Seriously, I even like to be scratched behind my ears!” <– That is too adorable. (Though I'm sorry you're always so itchy that you think that!)
Out of curiousity, since the ocean does wonders for you, have you ever tried those "salt rubs"? Also, it sounds like you have an excellent excuse to go visit the Dead Sea. 🙂
You know, I’m not sure why but I haven’t really done the salt rubs. I am definitely going to though, thank you for bringing that up! Sometimes I just get so focused on things that I forget about other really obvious remedies. hah!
And yes, I wonder if my insurance would cover the cost to the Dead Sea?! I don’t see why not?!