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Itching for a Community. I Have Eczema. Do you?

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Disclosure: This blog was written in partnership with Aveeno. All writing, opinions and photos are my own. I chose to work with Aveeno because I have been using their products for years and 100% believe in their effectiveness.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably know a little bit about me. Unless of course you landed here off a random Google search. And if that’s the case, WELCOME! My name is Bianca Jade, I’ve been a blogger for over 10 years but I'm also a health, beauty & wellness TV host living in New York City.

Oh, and guess what?! I have eczema and I’m 100% comfortable shouting that across the world wide web (can we still call it that?)! I feel the need to shout because it’s October, which happens to be Eczema Awareness Month. I’ve partnered with Aveeno for the 2nd year in a row (that’s how much I love them) to talk about how eczema has affected my life.

First of all, a lot of people might ask, why is such a holiday so important? Hmm, I’ll let the numbers talk: 31.6 million Americans are estimated to have symptoms of eczema. Geez, that’s a lot! You’d think more people would be open about it considering it’s kind of a thing. But eczema has always garnered some very negative vibes. People are scared of it. Maybe it’s the name? I wish they had given it a prettier name, ha!

I didn’t get eczema until I was in my late 20’s and it didn’t just hit…it hit HARD! My symptoms are ongoing, which means I have some form of eczema on me at all times. Mine presents itself on my hands, feet, stomach and arms. This doesn’t happen as much, but it will flare up on my face…making it really hard for me to apply my skincare products let alone my foundation. Sounds fun, right? Actually, when you live with eczema you just get used to it…almost to the point of expecting it under certain conditions that you know are precursors.

I have written about having eczema before and created Youtube videos about how it feels when a flare up is really bad, especially in social environments when you can’t hide it and need to corroborate a handshake. If you have eczema, you know exactly how that feels and by now you’ve found ways to deal or maybe you just don’t care anymore (like I do). Just because your skin isn’t “perfect” doesn’t mean it’s not perfect! You’re beautiful. Trust me, itchy, irritated skin isn’t going to change that. I happen to think my body is just as fit & sexy with eczema as when I don’t have it (which is never, really).

Today, though, I want to talk about something different. I’ve been itching for a community of people who, like me, suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis. It’s nice to be able to share stories, remedies and just get to know each other. Our hardships and stories of overcoming this skin condition can make for a great bonding experience! We’ve all tried different products, dietary modifications, medicines or soothing activities to help us alleviate the discomfort of our condition. But are we sharing what we know? Are we giving each other the mental and body image support that we need?

I’ve been using Aveeno Eczema Therapy Balm and Creams for years now. I’ve tried a lot of different products but these act like a moisture sealant on my skin, helping my dry patches go away. The Itch Relief Balm smooths and protects my arms (elbows in particular can be a tough spot), stomach, chest and neck with 3x the glycerin of the Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream which I use during the day. The oatmeal and ceramides in the balm are extremely soothing and make it a great topical remedy before you go to bed.

A lot of people get flare ups on the front and back of their knees. This isn’t a zone of concern for me. Mine is on the meatier part of my legs: the thighs and calves. I have scratched myself raw here before, which never helps. This is where I like to use Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream because you can reapply through the day without feeling greasy or sticky and get a lot of hydration and itch relief.

My hands, sadly, are my worst zones. I’ve read that hand dermatitis accounts for 20-35% of all eczema cases. Basically, your hands bubble and peel. It’s not a pretty sight and necessitates some light exfoliation and major hydration, which comes easily with Aveeno Eczema Therapy Hand Cream. I keep it in my purse, gym bag and carry-on. There’s not a day where I’m not using it…even when the eczema isn’t there. The routine of staying hydrated is one of the most important elements of managing eczema and preventing a really bad flare up.

Over the years, especially as my influence online has grown, a lot of eczema focused brands have reached out to me to work together. I’m very particular about the brands I align with. There have been medications marketed as being “the cure” for eczema. The truth is there’s no cure yet. There’s only relief. Aside from a warm bath filled with Epsom salts or maybe even an ice pack to numb stingy irritation and inflammation, I just use Aveeno products. After all, it is the #1 dermatologist recommended over-the-counter eczema moisturizer brand in the US.

I’ve been wanting to build an eczema community because I know my case must be similar but also dissimilar to other cases out there. I want to hear more and be a part of this awareness that I believe is our duty to spread.  You’ll never believe this but I made a very good friend at an eczema awareness event once. We now collaborate on projects and hang out all the time—all because of eczema. I learned that for her, diet was the key to managing her flare-ups.

So now I’m going to throw this out to you…got eczema or know someone who does? Can you share something about your journey or treatment below?

Have you tried any of the Aveeno Eczema Therapy products I’ve mentioned? How does having eczema affect the way you view your skin and body? Tell me!

written by Bianca Jade a.k.a Mizzfit

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