Does my skin look bad in this? You could say…

We all look at people and judge them by the way they look. It’s a sad fact, but we all do it.

Some people are able to look discreetly and not say a thing. Some people are genuinely so concerned, shocked or horrified that they need to say something, anything, maybe they’re nervous and don’t know what to say, or concerned for your health.

Anyway next time someone says, “What’s wrong with your skin? WOW you’re sunburnt! Have you been to the doctor about that awful rash?”, here are a few replies you could use…

“Yes, I’ve caught the sun again… ha ha ha. It was pretty hot actually and burnt my hands. Won’t be trying that again. Hot potato that old sun.”

“Oh, no, this is a new make-up range I’m trying out, it’s called red and rosy. What do you think? Suit me?”

“What have I done to my skin? Oh, this is normal. Actually it’s really good at the moment thanks.”

“Have I been to the doctors? You know I might just try that. It never occured to me to do that. Thanks so much!”

“Thanks for being concerned, my skin is bad, it’s just eczema/psoriasis/allergy rash and I am trying really hard to ignore it so can we change the subject?”

“Well I could wear makeup to cover up my unsightly skin so you wouldn’t have to be offended by having to look at me, but the makeup irritates my skin further. It shouldn’t matter how I look.”

“Oh does my skin look dry? Well that’s because it is! Like the sahara desert my skin.”

“My skin looks bad? Yeah just call me elephant neck/rhino skin/aligator legs!”

“Oh well, I shouldn’t say this too loudly but I really ought be in isolation. This is a tropical rash, highly allergic and flesh eating bacteria. But don’t worry, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t touch it…”

“Really? Is it showing? Right. Thanks for the warning. Sometimes I don’t spot it early enough and it can be very embarassing. It’s a rare condition. Must dash before the boils and pustules erupt.”

“Oh it looks bad does it? Well that’s probably because you added some milk/butter/celery/wheat (delete as appropriat) to last night meal that I’m allergic to…THIS is what happens”

“Do I moisturise enough? Well, there are never enough hours in the day, so please excuse me while I go and fit in another moisturising session.”

Most of all, smile, stay positive and remember, they are just words. Choose to take them at face value and don’t get too upset. People care and want to help so try to be kind, gracious and smile it off, even though inside you might be screaming, “IT HURTS SO MUCH DAMMIT, IT IS ALL I COULD DO TO LEAVE THE HOUSE TODAY SO SHUT UP!”

I would like to add a proviso here that my close friends and family should not feel scared about offering me support, a cuddle or asking how I am. I need those cuddles and warm words. They help me through. And if you are a fellow sufferer then I’m always up for a skin/allergy moan.

If you know me well then it’s quite alright to comment, especially if my skin is looking good!

It’s the strangers, brief acquaintances, friends of friends or passers by who should take note!

It’s important to stay positive, leant to accept what you’ve got, work with it and learn your triggers and be kind to yourself. But most of all, keep smiling!

Anyone else got any good replies for stupid eczema, psoriasis, allergy rash comments?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Great blog Ruth.
    Can I find out how many of your readers with eczema have had success with Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)? It’s one of our essential fatty acids. Hard to get from our diet. I have heard good things from people I have recommended it to but that’s just a handful. They simply take a capsule of evening primrose oil or borage oil (both rich in GLA) and pierce it with a pin before rubbing a little in to a small patch of eczema to test before using more widespread if that’s OK.

    • Hi Jenny, I have never done this myself so I’ll have a go. I do take evening primrose oil but I mix and match with borage, fish oils etc. Would you do it with fish oils too or would that smell a bit? I keep meaning to take more Evening Primrose oil than one a day. It definitely helps my skin if I could just get the allergies under control. Five reactions this month already so far, only mild, but still… not having that.

      Anyone else tried this? Jenny do you know whether pure coconut oil would be good too? I’ve got some pure shea butter too which I hope to use instead of epaderm to give my skin a break from the paraffin I’ve been feeding it, which can’t be good.

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