There is a misconception that bullying is only a problem for kids. When you think “bully”, you tend to think of the schoolyard. Although this is true, and certainly children have to deal with bullying on the schoolyard everyday, this is also a problem that adults have to deal with. Whether it is an unfair boss at work or a passive aggressive friend, bullying is a problem for everyone. Bullies only need one single thing to latch onto, and unfortunately, eczema is a popular and visible target. Eczema can cause feelings of self-consciousness in both eczema children and adults alike, and it can be even worse when someone maliciously calls attention to it.
In the schoolyard, bullies can use eczema to drive a wedge between an eczema child and other students. Children have the ability to feel things deeper than most adults (the scar tissue hasn’t built up yet), so this kind of bullying and social isolation could lead to emotional conditions such as childhood depression. One of the main things that you can do as a parent is to reassure your eczema child that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. This is simply a medical condition and there is no difference between them and the other children. Sometimes, children can feel embarrassed that they are being bullied. Make sure they know that they can come to you with anything at all, no matter what it is. Another thing you need to do is contact the school as soon as you find out that bullying is going on. Address the issue with your eczema child’s teacher and the school administrative staff, then discuss solutions to these issues.
Pieces of eczema clothing, such as our Eczema Sleeves or Eczema Socks, can be safely worn underneath the clothes during the day, providing moisture and relief to your eczema child’s skin. As they are under the clothes, they won’t be visible to other children, reducing the chances they will be asked about them. That said, more visible eczema clothes, such as our Eczema Gloves, tend to be very subtle and shouldn’t draw too much attention.
Of course, children aren’t the only people that can be bullied. If you are in the middle of a major eczema flare up, does it ever seem like people are staring at you in public places, wondering what is wrong with your skin? Have you ever heard a giggle from around you and instantly become hyper aware that it might be directed at you? Or has a coworker ever made a teasing remark like, “Better break out the acne pads”? All of these can be forms of adult bullying. Although there isn’t much you can do about strangers on the street, you can certainly do something about unthinking remarks from coworkers. Tell them flat out to quit it. If they don’t, go directly to your manager or boss. If it IS your manager or boss who made the comments, go directly to HR.
If you are feeling bullied because of your eczema, it can be helpful to find a community where you can talk about it and vent. There are a number of eczema support forums online where you can discuss your experiences with others who have been there. This sharing can help you get rid of built up negative emotions, and some of the people there may be able to give you a perspective on the situation that you might have not considered.
Similar to children, a number of pieces of eczema clothing can also be worn underneath your clothes, such as our adult Eczema Sleeves and Eczema Socks. And, just like with the kid version, our adult Eczema Gloves are rather unobtrusive and are unlikely to draw much attention. Wearing these eczema pieces throughout the day, after applying an eczema-safe moisturizer, will help keep moisture in your skin and give it a chance to heal (Dry Wrap Therapy).
The sad truth is that bullying isn’t going anywhere. It seems to be a built-in “feature” of human beings. Don’t stop being yourself, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! If you need more emotional support, try going online to find others who have been through the same thing. For eczema children, just make sure they know that they are loved, that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with them, and quickly go to the school with any bullying concerns.
Please remember information on our blog is not meant to be medical advice or designed to replace a physician’s judgement for treatment. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.