Even when I was a kid, I wasn’t one to “doll myself up” in dresses and makeup. Yes, it was fun playing dress-up with friends, or sometimes playing make-believe, but I wasn’t considered a “girly girl.” Even to this day, I only wear makeup for special occasions like going to a nice dinner, a wedding, or seeing family I normally don’t see every day—and that’s okay to me.
Since being diagnosed with eczema over a year ago, my fashion sense has changed. I used to be able to wear any type of clothing I wanted; however, I realized that certain fabrics were not always agreeable with my skin and that bothered me. Choices were taken away from me.
I had to start being more mindful of where I was shopping. They didn’t just need to have the right size, they also needed to have the right fabrics. It was highly frustrating because I would see a shirt I loved and realize I couldn’t wear it because I knew the vinyl/polyester material would likely cause a flare-up.
Sometimes, I would get to the point that I would still buy a shirt even though I knew would irritate my skin, and I’d wear a long-sleeve shirt underneath. That system didn’t always work, and I’d find myself sweating through the extra layer.
I also went through this phase last summer when I didn’t want to wear shorts or skirts because of the pigmentation loss on my legs. All I wanted was to go to the pool and bask in the sun. In reality, I was probably doing more damage than good. Eventually, over the course of the year, the pigmentation started coming back. My legs were becoming less itchy, so it wasn’t as frightful or embarrassing to be wearing shorts or skirts, especially during the summertime.
Over the years I have learned to adapt. I may have to choose my clothes more carefully than other women, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I might not be a “girly girl,” but I do take pride in my appearance. I have learned that when you look good it helps you feel good.
It may take a little extra effort, but I don’t let eczema stop me from looking my best.