Feat · Eczema
A skin story from an eczema fighter.
Jamie Lim
November 5, 2019
What is the craziest thing you ever done for skincare?

For me, it was taking a sea salt tablet twice every day. Or apply raw, sticky aloe all over my body and putting on pajama before sleeping at night. Oh, and trust me, it feels horrible, just like it sounds. Oh, wait, it could be applying snail slime from giant snail I had as a pet when I was in elementary school.

All the above mentioned "skincare" was horrible.
Why I did those awful things when I was so little? Because of eczema.

I had eczema as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memory is me scratching and crying because my whole body itched and hurts at the same time.
My poor parents tried everything they could. Doctors, steroid ointments, oriental medicines, herbs, and "natural treatment."
After several years, it seemed my eczema was touched by my parents' endeavors and finally decided to leave so I can have a normal life. Without scratching, oozing, pain, and annoyance caused by the symptom for a while!

But, just like those ex-boyfriends, you just can't shake off; eczema came back when I was in high school.

My family moved to a new apartment and decided to paint the walls. We were blissfully oblivious of the horrendous outcome of this innocent renewing of a place. Chemicals from new walls caused a 'new house syndrome,' and within 1 week, my eczema came back full force.

Since then, my scratching became so severe I couldn't wear a school uniform because I was oozing in every folding corner of my body. Apart from that horrible pain, my face was also a mess. For a girl who was going through puberty, it was brutal. I was so stressed about how I looked and became depressed and reserved. I was scared to make new friends because I can see the horror in their eyes when they see me. It was a painful time.

With a lot of effort, after 6 months, eczema went away again. I thought I was finally free. Now I know what causes it, how to manage it, and how to soothe and appease my skin when it flares up.

Little did I know, my abusive relationship with eczema wasn't coming to an end. After high school, I didn't have any skin problem for a while, and with people giving me compliments for beautiful skin, I thought my skin issue was all solved. And then I decided to do something drastic.

Like a true skincare crazed Korean, I also hoped in hype of peeling because I wanted my face to feel like a baby's cheek. So I got a blueberry peeling that is so mild a doctor assured me even a child can get it. Well. Let's just say if you have sensitive skin, and thin skin barrier, please don't get those chemical facials. My face was on fire and was extremely dry for the next 6 months.

With my face on fire, I became obsessed with every skincare in the market that will 'soothe,' 'appease' and 'protect the skin barrier.' I was always on the go for searching that magical product that will fix everything that was bothering my skin. There's no such thing exist. I spent approximately 1,000 dollars in dermatology care in 6 months to just restore stability for my skin.
Even after my skin was under control, it became even more sensitive than before, and I had to visit dermatologist frequently for an emergency soothing facial session. It was another painful period of skin journey for me. By then, I was working at an office, and the office tends to get very dry, which made my skin feel even tighter and painful. During that time, I was angry at myself for paying money to be in this agony, frustrated at the never-ending vicious cycle of skin condition, and feeling insecure as well.

Then one day, I suddenly realized, having eczema is something you just have to deal with my whole life. I can either be miserable about it or try to be less stressed while living my life to the fullest. Also, a crucial realization; I'm the one who can make the decision to let myself feel empowered or miserable.

I think everybody has something they have to deal with in their life. Skin condition, hair, or weight issue, whatever that makes people feel a bit insecure about themselves. However, I think people become truly beautiful and powerful when they own the condition that bothers them and don't let it affect their self-esteem. To me, that is empowering and beautiful.

With all those up and down, my skin positivity journey is still ongoing. I still need to learn what kind of product works for me and what I should/shouldn't do as skincare. Still have to find skincare routine and product that works for me and it will be a long journey.
But one thing is clear. I don't feel insecure about my skin anymore.
With or without an eczema am beautiful as I am today.

Jamie Lim
A content creator. Adobe mania. Coffee addict. #skinpositivity

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