I’m lucky to say I’ve “outgrown” eczema on most of my body.  The back of my knees and inside of my elbows are  laden with skin tones lighter than my skin pigment now.  It’s no longer on my face, neck and ears.  Where it was once on my back, there are now only scars.  The eczema that was once on my belly and ankles now leave no trace of ever existing.

Though eczema can leave the body, insecurity rarely does.  I had a bad flareup four days ago and was talking to my boyfriend about it.  As I was speaking, I covered my eyes and then…

I burst into tears.

Putting aside my fear that someone will look at me and feel disgusted or scared, I was actually most concerned about how much my hands hurt.  The slightest movement of the tip of my fingers caused a stinging pain.  And if I even dare bend my finger enough to reach for something and grab it, well I was certain the skin would break and my eczema would begin to bleed.  Even wiping tears away from my face stung when the salt of the water came into contact with a wound.  I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

I could see the strength in my boyfriend’s face, the composure he knows he needs to have to keep me from breaking.  I could see the hurt he feels for me knowing there’s nothing he can do to help, but he asks anyway.  There’s a calming affect of having someone be there to support you and to not judge you.  There’s a calming affect of being able to cry without shame and show someone how much this you really hurt.  And in the moment I could calm down, I felt better for just talking about it.

Bottom line is insecurity can fade, but it will never completely go away – just like eczema.  Talk about your eczema, talk about how it makes you feel.  It took me 26 years to feel OK with talking about it.  And even now I can admit I’m still not 100% comfortable with discussing it openly.  Yes, this blog is ironic.

It’s normal to have moments of insecurity, normal to feel moments of shame.  But hold your head up high.  You can push through this.


About jamiesjournals

Yes, I have eczema. Yes, I'm writing about it. I suppose it's unoriginal, but I hope my work isn't. Please share more of your stories and experiences with me and please suggest topics if you're curious about anything. Hope to hear from all of you soon!! View all posts by jamiesjournals


  • Amanda

    Aww, I very much know how you feel. For the longest time, I could not talk about my eczema. I was in therapy for many years, because some horrible things happened to me and still, they were easier to talk about than the emotional side of eczema. Anytime I have the smallest flare, it sends me into a panic attack and I’m immediately brought back to when I was a kid. It’s awful..

    • jamiesjournals

      I know what you mean. I’ve worked so hard to make it better, but for whatever reason I can’t get rid of it on my hands. It makes me feel like it’s impossible and here I am telling people that it is. I haven’t had a bad meltdown like that in a long while, so figured it would be worth writing about. I can’t believe how emotionally and physically painful it can get. Just gotta keep that chin up!! Me and you both..

      • Amanda

        Do you use topical steroids for it, or do you use more natural ways of healing it? I’m sorry your hands are bad 😦 I absolutely hate having it on my hands or face because people see it, they feel it, etc. My hands and feet are bad right now — I’m trying to stop using steroids, hoping it doesn’t end as bad as some of the horror stories I’ve heard. I hope your hands feel better soon! I don’t know where you live, but this time of year for me is tough on my hands!

  • jamiesjournals

    I do, but not all the time. Aww, thank you. It’s been pretty rough this season and my hands are horrible for me too because I know people can see them and it makes me really self conscious. Like you, I use the topicals less frequent because they’re really not good for you. But in a case like this, I know I can’t avoid it. I live on the west coast, so the weather isn’t as bad as it could be, but this season hasn’t been very kind to my eczema!!


    […] Outgrowing the Insecurity (eczemamemoirs.wordpress.com) […]

  • Sara Jensen (Vasquez)

    Thank you for your blog. The fact that you can speak candidly about your eczema educates your readers in a real and complete way. How blessed we all are to have the privilege to learn from you and experience the writings of a person who is truly talented.

    • jamiesjournals

      Sara, thank you for your kind and eloquent words. I am truly blessed to have you as a friend and to have your support. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. It’s support and thoughts like yours that give me the courage to keep writing about my eczema. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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