How to Boost Self-Confidence When You Live with Eczema
It’s not easy to stay body-positive and confident when you’re dealing with a skin condition that affects your everyday life. Dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, states that any skin disease that can cover a significant amount of someone’s body, and the parts of their body that the world sees, can make people very self-conscious and affect their self-esteem. She adds that stress can only exacerbate the condition. Fortunately, having eczema does not mean the end of the world — in fact, it usually clears up before you reach the age of 25. Until then, it’s a decision and a commitment to not let eczema interfere with you living your best life.
What is causing my eczema?
Skin conditions are covered in-depth by the health guides on SymptomFind. And in one of their guides, they explain that eczema is a dry skin condition that may manifest in red, irritated, and itchy patches of skin. In more severe cases, these may develop into small, fluid-filled bumps. Eczema isn’t contagious, but it can run in the family. It is also more common than you think — approximately 1 in 10 people in the world will be affected by it at some point in their lives.
A specific cause for eczema has yet to be discovered, but researchers have indicated that patients may have a mutation in a gene responsible for maintaining a healthy protective barrier on the skin. In our article on ‘Common Skin Problems That Develop in the Fall’, we note that eczema flare-ups can also be caused by seasonal changes, severe dry skin, and other irritants. Other factors that can cause or worsen this include stress or other autoimmune disorders.
The social consequences of eczema can be the hardest part of a young person’s life, as it can contribute to self-consciousness and social pressure, and lead them to struggle to build relationships with their peers. Additionally, the Eczema Association of Australasia points out that the stress of keeping your symptoms at bay can also add to the many things teens are juggling while they’re in high school. Several studies have also suggested connections between severe eczema and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
How do I boost my self-confidence with my skin condition?
Reframe negative self-talk and start a habit of affirming yourself. Tell yourself that your skin condition will change over time and that you’re doing the best you can to get it under control. You are worth more than your condition — tie in affirmations to existing habits and find spaces in your daily routine where you can appreciate yourself.
Establish ways to deal with stress
Getting stress is inevitable sometimes, however, you do have control over how you deal with it. Maybe you can refocus your energy into academics or sports, instead of wallowing in self-pity. Try fulfilling hobbies, too. Whether it is cultivating plants, crocheting, or hiking — anything that can give you a healthy dose of dopamine and serotonin to manage the stress will do.
Manage your triggers and treatment routine
One key factor in reducing stress and anxiety includes being in control of your triggers and treatment routine to the best that you can. Work closely with your dermatologist and map out the best treatment routine for your specific needs. Identify your past triggers and be on the lookout for them in the future. At the end of the day, confidence should go hand-in-hand with preparedness.
Consult a therapist
Having at least one dependable person to voice out your thoughts and feelings to can make such a massive difference in improving your mental health. For teens, education center Youth.gov is a great place to look for information. One of their main categories is mental health, and they can provide young people with valuable information on taking care of their mental wellbeing, as well as hotlines to contact for support.
Join a support group
Because eczema is quite common, there are many support groups available for you to find peers who are experiencing the same struggles as you. You can also ask for tips on how others handle their symptoms — this can also teach you to be less critical of yourself.
For more articles on navigating teen life, feel free to check out our articles here on Teens Wanna Know.