I’ve had eczema as far back as I can remember, but it didn’t start getting bad until about 6th or 7th grade. And it’s only this year that I started to own up to my condition and accept it for what it is.
I’ve seen myself change so much: before I kind of put up a front. With eczema, you feel like the entire world is honing in on your imperfections. People would have never known how insecure I was because I wouldn’t let people get close to me. My mom used to get me these shirts with the thumbs cut out of the sleeve so I could completely cover up my hands – when I found out that those types of shirts even existed I was ecstatic! I wore them all the time. You would never see me in anything revealing, that’s just how uncomfortable I was with myself.
But now I’m learning to accept myself. I even went to Miami for Spring Break. Initially it was terrifying: wearing a bikini in front of so many people was a first for me… but I had the time of my life! Something just clicked when the girls I went with told me they hadn’t even noticed the eczema I had on my hands. It amazed me. All these years, people hadn’t even been paying attention to my eczema – it had just been in my head. That was a turning point for me.