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The Psychological Effects Of Living With Eczema

Much is written about the physical condition of eczema, and its treatment options, but very often the psychological aspects are glossed over and treated as secondary. In truth, in both young and old patients the psychological aspects of dealing with eczema can be far more devastating than the disease itself.

Living with eczema is often more about the psychological issues than the physical ones. The itching and soreness can be soothed with creams and salves, but the visible effects of the disease are difficult to get away from. This can be particularly devastating for young children dealing with eczema.

There are many unfounded stigmas attached to eczema that are based solely on the way the condition looks rather than on facts. Eczema is not contagious, but many children will shy away from those with the condition fearing that touching it will spread the disease to them. This is not the case as eczema is not a contagious disease. A bigger problem is that many parents do not know what eczema is and often warn unsuspecting children about playing or touching another child who has this condition.

Children can be quite cruel in their teasing and coupled with their parent's lack of information on the problem can be lead to believe that eczema is caused by a general lack of cleanliness which couldn't be further from the truth. Education can go a long way in solving many of the childhood issues in dealing with this disease but it often needs to begin with the parents of the children.

Adults suffer just as many psychological effects in dealing with eczema. Eczema on the scalp can be covered by hats. On the arms and legs it can be covered by long sleeves or pant legs, and the body is generally kept covered with clothing as well, but some areas such as the hands and face are difficult to cover and the patient must deal with the feelings of embarrassment of when others shy away from contact.

This can be magnified in cases where the patient is in a new relationship, or looking to develop relationships as the fear of uncovering areas of eczema can thwart all desires for romance. People involved in a relationship with someone suffering with eczema must have a great deal of compassion and do their best to show their partners that they are loved and are beautiful in order to overcome the worry and fear of being exposed to ridicule.

Adults with eczema often shy away from social events that may require exposure of the affected areas such as swimming pools, and beaches, and can often lead to a rather sheltered life as it begins to take over other social events as well even when no threat of exposure is imminent. In some more severe cases it may even be advisable to seek the advice and counsel of a good psychotherapist to help overcome the unreasonable feelings of inadequacy. It is important for the patient to realize that this is a disease, not a condition they bring on themselves, and is not caused by anything they did or didn't do.