Dressing Right to Deal with Eczema

When you have eczema and rashes, a lot of the time it seems that there is no control over your physical appearance.  That’s how I feel right now – my skin is out of control.  I can put on a smile, but the bottom line is that I don’t feel warm fuzzies and rejoicing in the way I look.  But, the good news is that one does have control over other aspects of their appearance and you can manipulate it to try and feel as reasonably positive about yourself as you can!  These are some clothing/apparel tips that work for me:

  • Stay away from any type of itchy materials (wool, angora, etc).  This goes without saying, but one has to check labels carefully… sometimes they sneak like 10% angora into a perfectly good acrylic or cotton sweater.
  • Avoid any super tight clothing.  I wrote a previous post (“Tight ass itchy ass pants”) where I remarked that wearing exercise pants every single day to work seemed to irritate my thighs.
  • Try not to sweat in tight clothing.  This traps the sweat and then I really start to itch.
  • Wear something that will make you feel good about yourself and is COMFORTABLE.
  • I like to wear bright colors and/or patterns.  This keeps the eye moving and draws the attention away from the face.
  • I also have been in the habit of wearing either a necklace or a scarf with almost every work outfit.  This is intended to detract attention from the face and focus on the accessory.
  • LAYERS!  Not only do layers add visual interest, keeping the eye moving, but they will keep you comfortable, which is so important.  If I am uncomfortable either physically, mentally, or emotionally, I begin to itch.  I’m also the type of person that HATES to be cold – for me it’s almost like physical pain, it’s so annoying – and so I always layer up so that I’ll be assured of being warm.  I don’t mind sweating and being hot at all!
  • Wear something with pockets.  Why pockets you ask?  Well, I carry a tiny container of Vaseline/Aquaphor and a tiny mirror on me at all times during the workday – this is so I can check on the status of my facial rashes during a trip to the restroom and discreetly moisturize if necessary.  I work in quite a public area so it’s not like I can whip these things out at my desk.  I also have been carrying my tube of Tarte concealer and a tweezers, for any noticeable skin flakes.  If I don’t put these things in my pants pockets, I’ll wear knee socks and stash everything in my sock during the workday!  It sounds crazy but if you don’t wear tight pants, no one will be the wiser and you can carry your own little private arsenal of stuff.
  • Put in some effort.  It is so tempting to put on the sloppiest outfit, but if your clothing looks crisp and put-together, you’ll feel better about yourself even if your skin doesn’t quite match it.
  • Haircut and style matters too.  I can’t stand the sensation of hair touching my face or neck, so I keep it pretty short.  While it’s tempting to hide behind long hair, this could actually be negative as any products you use in your hair might irritate your face when your hair touches it.  Yeah, I have nothing to really hide behind with my hairstyle, but I think I’m better off for it.  And a good haircut will instantly make you feel better about yourself.  Take it from me… I had shapeless, growing-out, nasty-ass hair for months because I was trying to hide and didn’t want to put in the effort, and last week when I got a haircut, I instantly felt so much better.  Hair accessories can also be nice too as a way of diverting attention.  I’m not really into the whole headbands or bows thing, but it might be just the ticket for someone else.

Any other tips out there?

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2 thoughts on “Dressing Right to Deal with Eczema

  1. Celiac and Allergy Adventures says:

    These are great tips! I am tempted to kind of hide away in just comfortable clothes rather than make myself look nice, because I feel so awful about myself. I do not know how you manage to carry all of those things in your pocket though! LOL. I also used to always want my hair really long so I could hide behind it if necessary … this was during high school. Now I try to keep my hair shorter and I also hate the sensation of hair on my skin, especially when it’s feeling bad.

  2. I really liked the tips. I have eczema too and I’m a college student. Sometimes, a girl’s gotta dress up and make herself feel good.. eczema or no eczema. I especially liked the tip about keeping aquaphor in your pockets. I work with the public, so running to the bathroom real quick to “touch up” is necessary. I have it really bad on my hands, so with winter just around the corner, it’s nice to finally get a chance to wear cute mittens and cover these babies up!!

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