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Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Tue Mar 10, 2015 03:40 AM

I was wondering, do you ever have self-esteem issues? Do people make fun or you? How do you deal with it?

I have common ichthyosis, and it's worst on my legs. As a child my mom made me wear long skirts to hide it. My skin cells regenerate too quickly, and I have to scrub them off with a washcloth or else I'd look like I have scales. Lotion alone doesn't work, and body scrubs don't work on me, I have to use a scrubbing cloth.

Well, a few months ago I moved to an area with hard water, and my skin got worse. I scrub every other day, but since I live in a dorm where six girls share a shower, I always make sure to wash when the others aren't home or before they get up. Afterwards I always clean up because my mom will yell at me across the Atlantic if I'm not clean and neat.

Of course we all have our living habits, and with six of us here, you sorta have to get used to all sorts of things. For example, my roommate sprays her perfume between fifteen and twenty times, and the smell wouldn't go away even if I leave the window open for over an hour. So I talked with her nicely and acted a little embarrassed when I asked her to put on perfume somewhere else. Didn't hurt her feelings at all.

Then this morning the Korean girl yelled at me for leaving the washcloth near her things. Said it's disgusting how I'm always scrubbing. You know, I rinsed and folded the cloth, then put it on top of my shampoo bottle as usual, did she have to yell at me if it fell onto the floor and got closer than usual to her body wash? The five of us don't complain when she leaves her hair all over our shower things, when she clogs up the drain and hocks loudly all the time. She's the only smoker in the flat, and we do smell her, and she doesn't do any of the cleaning. On top of that, she's the only one who regularly brings in visitors who cook with her and take up the entire kitchen. We've got two stovetops, by the way. Six girls, two stovetops, and she gets visitors that cook about a table full of food.

I'm just upset that she yelled at me and made me feel like something disgusting.

You know, last semester I in another dorm, and a French girl yelled at me for always leaving so much hair in the drain. I denied it, and she said I'm a liar because I'm the only Asian. And she said she knows I have hygiene problems because she saw me bring in dandruff shampoo. I was having trouble with the hard water, that was why. It turned out the hair belonged to another girl whom the French girl didn't really see around the flat. She never apologised, though.

Sorry if this is an overreaction, but I'm needing to vent. Since the beginning I've been sensitive about this, especially since my mom always emphasised the importance of being clean. I do try to keep the scrubbing as discreet as possible, but the one time I mess up and let my washcloth fall, couldn't the girl have at least cut me some slack?

It's just that being perfect about this is hard, and when the others mess up, I'm pretty understanding. But when I mess up they're hard on me, even if I mess up less often.

8 Replies to Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?

re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:28 AM
Have you checked in with a dermatologist lately? Cause annihilating your legs every day with a wash cloth and drawing the ire of your jerky room mate seems like no way to go about doing things.
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Wed Mar 11, 2015 08:17 AM
I agre, I don't think you are handling your condition in the most effective way. I understand your mother always had you scrubbing and scrubbing to keep "clean" but having a disorder does not mean you are unclean. All of this scrubbing is probably making it worse. I too think you should see a new dermatologist for a recommendation on a better treatment. Perhaps then you'll be able to abandon the wash cloth completely.
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 691, member since Sun Apr 22, 2007
On Wed Mar 11, 2015 05:57 PM
I have eczema. While it it much better than it was when I was younger, I can still get some pretty bad breakouts on my upper arms and by my elbows.

When I was younger, though, I would get it really bad on my stomach and legs. The bit on my legs was so bad that in the summers it was one giant scab on my legs and in the winters I'd itch it through my jeans so badly it'd bleed through. On my stomach we originally thought it was an allergic reaction to the metal button on my jeans and we had to sew scrap fabric over it. We knew it was eczema, but didn't do anything for it other than oatmeal baths and Aveeno products. Once I reached middle school and gym class required showering and changing, I was so embarrassed by my sewn up jeans and flaky, scabby skin that I finally begged my mom to take me to the doctor again for it. This time I was prescribed a heavy duty ointment that I still have to this day.

So now it's mostly under control, but I put off putting on the ointment sometimes that it breaks out bad on my arms and people see and get grossed out depending how bad I let it get. Long story short, like others have said, there's got to be a way to keep it under control and I advise with the others that you go to a dermatologist. There's nothing fun about living life with a dictionary defined "scaly skin disease" especially when I would walk around feeling like my skin was flaking off for others to find.
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Sun Mar 15, 2015 08:12 PM
I have dyshidrosis or house wife dermatitis, lol. Sometimes it gets so bad I can't write or close my hands. It always gets to a point where ointments stop working and UV therapy stops working. I really don't like homeopathy, but when it got really bad, I saw improvements from only eating fruit (I was very sick at the time and it was all I could eat) for a week. Apples and watermelon - not sure if it was the extra hydration or the extra vitamins.

I know it's disheartening when steroid creams stop working and even make it worse, but if you take a break from it and get back to it, it will start working again. You just can't use it too often for too long because it starts drying out your skin and aggravating the condition.

I also switched hair care products and no longer use anti-bacterial anything. My soap is sorbelene or QV which are ph neutral and moisturising. I used to pick at the skin that flaked on my hands, but it only led to infection and those horrible puss things that hurt a lot.

Also, snail cream. And cutting down on how long you bathe and don't have too hot showers (which sucks because I love long hot showers :().
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Mon Mar 16, 2015 01:45 AM
Aha, Aveeno and steroid creams. Good times, good times...

The girl apologised and gave me chocolate, and my roommate said she heard her yelling at the phone and told me not to take it personally. So yeah, I didn't. And yesterday we were about to go brush our teeth at the same time. She let me go first and looked so sad about it it seemed like she was about to cry. I said she could brush first, but she said no, no, and kept looking sad. Hope she's alright.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'm trying to use more lotion and scrub less. And yeah, the hot shower thing is a pity, and on an unrelated note, do you like banyas? There's a pretty big sauna culture here, but I could never join in because of the steam and stuff. Grandparents made me see a traditional doctor, and he said I have hot blood. It makes the skin dry and turn red. Having a huge temper is another symptom, apparently, but I think my temper comes from me being a Northerner (we're the Scots of China, funny accents and all. Harsh climate, big eyes, curly hair, loud musical instruments, a bunch of clans and mixed-up ethnic groups...where was I?). He have me some medicine orbs to help (it was Tibetan medicine, came with a frankincense and camphor cream), and now it's much better but still not completely cured. As for the steroid creams from the derms, they did stop working as Gavrilushka said, and I did alternate among a few. Eventually I just gave up, though, and stuck with Aveeno. They told me to use a lot of Aveeno and Eucerin, because of course they did.

Aaaauuuuueeeeeaaaaagh, though. Sorry that you all have to endure this scratchy bleedy weirdly-sewn jeans thing. Although the all-fruit thing sounds delicious, too bad we en't got much fruit here at the moment. Only apples. Polish apples. (God bless Poland.) But good luck to you all. And me. Oy.
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Mon Mar 16, 2015 03:35 AM
Edited by Gavrilushka (251581) on 2015-03-16 05:14:21 A bizarre doublepost occurred
Whaaa that's so crazy! I was told I have hot blood too! I was told to eat 'cool' foods to calm it down. Sadly I was only in China for a short time, like 5/6 weeks.

I'm personally not a fan of banyas. Australia is hot and humid enough, lol. I heard it's good for the skin but I can't help but think the heat is going to do more harm than good for dry skin conditions.

Oh be careful with the lotion you use. I tried this one I picked up from the pharmacy and it says it's for eczema, but I found it just didn't do anything and made stuff worse. It's made from oatmeal, Dermaveen. And then I found that it contains alcohol...who puts alcohol in eczema cream?! I will say that it does cool down the skin and stop the itching, but my bumps were clustering and getting worse/not improving. *shrugs* Aveeno doesn't work for me, only sorbolene but I only use it as a soap substitute. If you come across a good moisturiser, hit me up, I'm tired of spending $60 on mine...

Hopefully that girl will get better and realise that it's just skin. I think if you talked to her about your condition she might ease up a little. It's mainly ignorance that leads to these kinds of knee jerk reactions. I mean, I used to wear gloves all the time to hide my condition because it looks contagious and can get infected easily.
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Tue Mar 17, 2015 05:44 AM
Not so much a skin disorder, but I have issues with my kidneys which causes my body to dehydrate REALLY easily - so my skin is generally a dry, flaky mess. My hands are the worst though - they get red raw and itchy too. I started using Exceptionoil by GoTo Skincare and haven't looked back. I also used their face cleanser and lip balm and it's made a huge difference! It's an Australian product but fairly sure they ship international!!
re: Anyone else with an embarrassing skin disorder?
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Tue Mar 17, 2015 08:00 AM
poko wrote:

Not so much a skin disorder, but I have issues with my kidneys which causes my body to dehydrate REALLY easily - so my skin is generally a dry, flaky mess.
Same! I have Addison's. I'll give Exceptionoil a go. The site keeps saying how awesome it is and I think it's down right adorable. lol

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