talkhealth Instagram Live with Ruth Holroyd


If you weren't able to join our Instagram Live with Ruth, you can watch it back here.

Never ones to fall behind the times, talkhealth has finally jumped on board the Instagram Live train.

On Tuesday (11 August 2020), we ‘went live’ with the brilliant Ruth Holroyd - founder of the blog What Allergy? to talk about eczema and the mental health fall out of living with a chronic skin condition.

Ruth took us through her own eczema journey, from childhood to the moment she decided to stop using topical steroids. As the online event took place during a mammoth heatwave, we also discussed the impact that heat can have on eczema and what steps Ruth takes to elevate the discomfort. During the interview, she used an ice pack to cool down and explained how she has a neck fan on standby. A keen runner, cooling down after a workout is really important for Ruth and she told us that she keeps wet or frozen towels and flannels ready for when she returns - something loads of us could benefit from in this heat, whether we live with eczema or not!

Clearly, topical steroid withdrawal has had a huge impact on Ruth’s mental health - as is the case with many adult eczema survivors. However, at talkhealth, we’re aware that it can be a very contentious subject and rather than focussing on the ins and outs of TSW, we got Ruth to talk about what impact going through the process has had on her mental health. She told us that she’s had to endure questions and comments from strangers who don’t understand what she’s going through and that these can often be incredibly painful to hear. You can read more about how she deals with difficult comments in this blog post.

Ruth also shared her tips for working towards better skin positivity and greater self-acceptance.

On days when the going seems too tough, her self-care non-negotiable habits include taking baths, going for walks or runs and disconnecting from social media. While Ruth spends much of her time blogging and connecting with followers, she admitted that being so available can take its toll and that occasionally she needs to turn off her notifications so that she can focus on herself.

We ended the Live by asking Ruth what she’d like from the general public and she said ‘empathy’. One of our viewers commented that she wanted the general public to fully understand the true impact that the condition can have; 'it’s often worse than it seems'. Eczema is so common (up to 15 million Brits have it, according to Allergy UK) and as a result, it's a condition that often gets underplayed. In reality, however, eczema can be totally devastating and the mental burden is every bit as hard as the physical toll.

We're so grateful to Ruth for sparing us 30 minutes and for offering so much excellent advice. If you haven't already, do check out the full video here. You can find Ruth's blog here and her Instagram account here.

If you’ve got any suggestions for future interviews, please do let us know and if you enjoyed the Live, please ‘like’ and share the video.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 12 August 2020
Next review: 12 August 2023