Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?

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Patients Skin diseases

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An unfortunate common complaint by those with skin conditions is that others may stare or make an ignorant or rude comment.

Have you ever experienced stares or received negative comments from others? How did/do you handle these type of encounters? Do you have any recommendations or advice for others?

Beginning of the discussion - 9/17/19

Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?
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I have rosacea, so I get extreme redness on face, such as my cheeks, nose, and forehead. On sunny days, this can get worse! 

I often get stares, but not often have I ever received negative comments besides from a few individuals that I was told said something... but not to me. The only recommendation I can offer is to be content with yourself and your body and know that you are special and important because we are all unique!

Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?
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@Lee__R‍ @onlyme‍ I have vitiligo. It started initially on my hands and then slowly with time crept up my arms to my neck and face. I definitely have people do double takes. And once or twice a kid has asked me "why I look like a cow," which actually made me laugh. I got it later in life and not when I was a kid so I was spared much of the ridicule that people who grow up with it do. But still initially I was SUPER self-conscious about it. I'm still self-conscious but I'm working on accepting it.

When the virus was in full swing I definitely had people avoiding touching the same things at me at the grocery store and stuff like that, like they thought I had something they could catch which I guess is linked to the paranoia and lack of information, but still that really hurt. Anyway enough of my word vomit. 

Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?

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I had skin tags on my neck witch used to annoy me all the time, also I wasn’t very confident during warm seasons. I was shy to wear any open neck clothes and it was a disaster during summer. The main question that concerned me during the warm season was are they too visible and how to remove skin tags. It seemed to me that all people are staring at my neck. I tried different methods of removing them, but everything was unsuccessful until I found info on [link removed by Moderator for violation of community standards] on what causes skin tags and some natural oils that help to remove and prevent them from [link removed by Moderator for violation of community standards.

Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?

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I've had eczema since I was a kid. When I was younger it was something I definitely struggled with as other kids would make fun of me or avoid me for it. I seemed to be the only one at school who had it, so they didn't know what it was. The classic "I don't know what that is so I'm going to mock or be afraid of it". It really hard for me emotionally because it was something I obviously couldn't help and there wasn't much I could do to stop it. I would try to cover it with long sleeves or band-aids but a lot of times that would just irritate it. I still have it today but I've come to accept it in a way. I don't try to hide it anymore, it's just a part of me.

Living with a skin condition: How do you deal with how others look at you?

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Recently diagnosed with urticarial vasculitis here. The appearance of it fluctuates depending on which part of my body is the "soup of the day" for a flare-up. I find that ice packs/cold compress/soaking hands or feet in cold water helps, but to be honest I just want this flare up to go away and to stop itching/being in pain more than I care about if it will leave a scar or not (obviously I care about that too, but at least in the long term makeup or something can help with that — and I'm in the middle of a flare up so that's easy for me to say at the moment, but trust me I can completely understand. People look at you a lot differently, especially during COVID, when you have large, raised bumps and rashes all over your body). I would suggest being as open as much as possible with your doc (I have MCTD + lupus + others, depending on which doc you ask). And most of all, remember you are your own best advocate. You know your body best. As much as it wants to fight against you, fight for it and eventually hopefully you'll find the right doc and the right medication to help at least alleviate some symptoms. 

Also, first post here -- thanks for letting me join the group! Wish you all well.