I feel like eczema’s a journey for every sufferer: trying to know your skin, handling flare-ups, trying new products. For me one of the biggest triggers is the chemicals in new clothing, which makes it so hard for me to go shopping. My sweat bothers it too… so that’s my excuse for not working out!
I first had eczema as a baby, but it came back when I was 12. That was hard – people would make fun of me. I remember someone saying to me, ‘Hey Alexis! You’ve got something on your face!’ They brought it up, even though it was obviously something that bothered me. I’ve always wanted to wear cute backless tops or dresses, but my problem area has always been my back. So I would never get to wear those, which was disheartening because I’d think, ‘Aw, this is so cute!’ And then realize, ‘Oh, I can’t wear it…’
When I started my Instagram account my skin was getting me down, so I decided I wanted to spread a positive message instead of just talking about how much it sucks. That’s why I post normal pictures of me and my eczema. I recently posted a simple picture with text that said, ‘Having eczema doesn’t make you ugly.’ And a lot of people were commenting and messaging saying, ‘I really need this today’. People think that having eczema just automatically makes them ugly for some reason. If it were normalized, people wouldn’t feel that way.
I try to be super-confident to inspire other people, but I’m a person, I don’t always feel like that. My followers give me confidence though – when I started proudly showing off my eczema, people started tagging me in their pictures of them doing the same thing, and telling me that I inspired them to go out and not worry about covering up. It inspired me to post more, like, ‘Hey! I'm itchy too!’ And that’s what the whole eczema community on Instagram is about. It’s about people relating to each other, like ‘I have the same thing, I have the same struggles’. There’s nothing better than knowing you’re not alone in something.