Does Anyone Find it Hard to Cope and Stay Motivated?

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by shunter10 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:29 am

An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

I hope people don't find this post negative or objectionable in any way. My intention is to find out how people handle their eczema in social situations. I am a 30 year old male and have had eczema since I was young. It's well controlled but the fact is the damage to my skin makes my hands appear wrinkled. It's something that plays on my mind alot. I am convinced that people are looking at my hands and wondering what's wrong with me. I see their eyes linger on my hands and can't think of anything else other than what are they thinking? Then I start thinking, yes, they do look terrible don't they. I am reluctant to shake people's hands. Even just putting my hands on display, like drinking a beer or something in a pub, is something I can get distracted by in a social situation. Then, if someone does say something, I go to pieces. About a year ago, at work, I was in the office and had a light hearted meeting in a room with 2 friends at work, and then we walked out into the office I sat next to one of the guys from the meeting, he sees my hands and at the top of his voice goes 'urrgh, look at your hands, they're about 20 years older then you!' I had nothing to say, I went completely red and wanted the ground to swallow me up.

I really don't want to offend anyone with this post, but does anyone know what I mean? I don't know anyone else with eczema so don't know if my eczema looks like other people's. I am hoping through talking to others about this I can start to deal with this a bit better. I can deal with it at times but then I lapse back into mild self-loathing.

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by emma40 on Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:51 pm

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

yeh i understand what you mean iget that wer i work people always lookin down at mny hand and all up my arms its all rewd and parts of it are infected but its with products i use at work it makes u feel so uncomfortable

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by anitasolanki1512 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:45 am

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

i completely understand how you feel.i am a female and yes looks can affect us big time. we learn to deal with these emotions trying to say no i wont let any ones comments affect me, but we have our weak moments and get down about any little comment made.
unfortunately eczema is something that even under control can leave a key behind that you have it. My issue is not my hands but by neck and around my eyes, it does make us look older and wrinkly. You have to keep positive, those people who make comments like the ones you mentioned have no feelings and no concept of what they are saying. You have to ignore them and look as if whatever they have said has not bothered you. im telling you this because that is how i am able to cope.
I know its very hard and dampens your self confidence but you have to fight.
besides the feeling have you tried any hand creams like anti aging ones. i use one and maybe a hand cream may work for you, not make your hands perfect but maybe tighten them a little. obviously try a patch 1st incase it doesnt suit you.
chin up

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by Nick91 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:05 pm

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

It's funny that you should post this. I tend to get eczema on the face pretty often, I'm actually suffering from a severe case at the moment, and it's impossible to hide from people. I'm in high school and you know how cruel kids can be, so whenever my eczema triggers I try to avoid any social situations. I feel like I'm missing out on being able to go out with friends and whatnot because I am so embarrassed by how I look, it really does affect my social life.
I also hate the people who will stare and avoid me like I have the plague, it's hard to try and explain to them that it's NOT contagious.

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by gecko on Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:50 pm

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

Hi everyone. Well I can certainly empathise as I have what to me are the ugliest, wrinkliest, oldest looking knobbly blue-veined rough hands in the world! I have seen other people with eczema - and their hands are never anything like as ugly as mine. I spent many years hiding them, and still avoid handshakes - but as you get older you become a bit more resilient I think - its a case of having to, in order to cope. I dont hide my hands nowadays. And luckily there are not many idiots out there who make hurtful comments.

Recently when I commented on my colleague's nail varnish and said to her that it wasnt worth me bothering with all that as my hands are so ugly. She looked at my hands - which I was amazed she had not noticed before as we had worked together for some months, and she said "They are just hands". For some reason that meant such a lot to me. Lets face it, society is much too focused on looks and vanity these days - as evidenced by the amount of beauty parlors and "nail bars" filling up every high street. Its all wrong.

The trouble with us is - and this is exactly the same for EVERYONE, not just eczema sufferers, but even people we perceive to be perfect or beautiful - we think that when people look at us, they are immediately "homing in" on our "bad" bits - whereas in reality they don't really notice details, because they are too worried about what THEY look like and whether we can see THEIR flaws!!

Anyone who makes nasty comments to people who look a bit different are only making THEMSELVES look small.

These days I don't hide my hands anymore. I just think "let people stare if they want to, if it entertains them or gives them something to talk about then they are very sad individuals." I work as a receptionist/secretary - so my hands are always on view. I really don't give a flying fart what anyone thinks!

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by ironchef on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:11 pm

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

I've sooooo been there. Sometimes the sight of my hands startle me when I look in the mirror. My hands are ugly but that's not how I feel INSIDE. It feels like a betrayal. Self-confidence will always be an issue as I hate those lingering gazes at my hands as if to say "OMG, what's wrong with her hands?" You wonder what your life would have been like without this condition.....but you also realize that you are STRONG. It's has made me a empathetic, caring person as a result. But yes, I STILL hate shaking hands. Wish saluting were socially acceptable. Or high-fives even.

Girl with the pretty face but bugly hands

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by AnnaB on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:07 pm

Comments of Strangers!!

What gives people the right to comment on my son's skin. I would not go upto someone in a shop and pass comment on the colour of their hair or what they are wearing. I'm sick of it. Sorry I need to rant to let off steam.

Sat in the doctors last week, there with a bad throat, people asked me what was wrong with my son, they looked at me like I was nuts when I said he has a bad throat!! Then today on leaving the childrens ward we'd been on to see a paediatrician about the throat issue the nurse in charge stopped us and asked if we'd been in for a food challenge. When I said not she passed comment about the state of his skin!!! On a childrens ward she really should have known better, my son has ears and feelings. He's starting to make comments and realise his friends don't have eczema. Why does eczema have a public voice tag??
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by Jimbob on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:31 am

Re: Comments of strangers!!

I really feel for you. I could pretty much guarantee that I would be stopped at least 4 times a week at one stage and be told I should take my son to the doctors as he obviously needed help. Of course he had been seen by the doctor, dermatologist and paediatric consultant and been in and out of hospital but I did not go into that with complete strangers.

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by Babar on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Comments of strangers!!

Growing up, people would comment on my skin all the time. It was mostly adults. My mom would say calmly "it's just allergy related. It is not contagious." Then she would dismiss them with a wave of her hand. I grew up never thinking that I had a serious problem, and I never lacked confidence because of it. My son now has eczema, and I respond the same way. If you dismiss the person, it leaves them thinking that they overreacted. My son has no problem telling people that his skin is because he has allergies, and he is a very confident boy. When he started kindergarten this past fall, kids and parents asked us about it. We talked openly about his condition, and even invited everyone to touch his skin. To this date, we have not had any problems over comments, because we don't react. Another thing you might want to try is explaining to your son and strangers that this is just something that he has, kind of like people with poor eye sight that need glasses, or people that need braces. It is just a fact of life, and you can't control if you have it or you don't. I hope that you can use this advice or find something that works for you. :D

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by Nubia on Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:52 am

Re: An emotive post - what goes on in your head?

Been there, done that, worn the long sleeves and the gloves. One day decided stuff anyone that wants to look. Obviously its human nature to be curious, so i dont mind the looks. However when I find that you are not talking to me out of fear or being shallow, I know you are not important in my life. With this in mind I started to roll my sleeves up just below the elbow and am now my arms are constantly on display. The brave and those willing to learn will ask what's my condition and I dont mind explaining. :D

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