I had been suffering from varicose eczema for most of my life. My mother first noticed the condition when I was just a toddler, although doctors weren’t able to give us a definitive diagnosis until I was a bit older. When I was in my mid-teens, I had my first major flare up, covering almost my entire body in painful, itchy sores. My parents took me to the doctor who prescribed me with a variety of medications to help reduce the initial inflammation.
Unfortunately, the medications didn’t completely cure my condition. I was told that varicose eczema was a chronic skin condition and would likely remain with me for the rest of my life. I was prescribed creams to help soften the sores but they only provided temporary relief. My skin was often left dry, red and scaly, with the occasional flare up of more painful sores.
I was so embarrassed of my condition that I often kept it hidden from my friends, afraid of them seeing my skin and how it looked. I tried to wear clothing that covered up the sores, but some days it was too hot or too uncomfortable. On those days, I could almost feel the judgment from those around me as I walked down the street.
I had been managing my condition for years before it suddenly took a turn for the worse. I was hospitalized and the doctors had to use various treatments to try and contain the inflammation. Despite their best efforts, my condition deteriorated, resulting in severe scarring and permanent discoloration of my skin.
The experience was emotionally draining and my self-esteem sunk to an all-time low. I was so consumed with sadness and despair that I could barely find the will to do anything. I was no longer able to go outside, and I felt so helpless and defeated.
I had been dealing with varicose eczema for most of my life and it had taken a massive toll on me. I was left unable to move past my condition and I had to accept that this would be my life for the foreseeable future.