This is such a heart warming story, after reading recently that 1 in 5 children with atopic dermatitis are bullied about their appearance, this little girl has a great, supportive and kind network of friends, teachers and family around her. Her friends help her to stop scratching by holding her hands and distracting here and she has never experienced any bullying.
What’s sad is that she still felt so unhappy about her skin and comments from strangers that she wouldn’t look at her face in the mirror. It’s heartbreaking, but completely understandable. It’s taken me years to build up enough self esteem to be able to look at myself and say, I Love you! and to actually mean it! Even on a bad skin day!
There is a lot of shame, guilt and self loathing wrapped up in living with conditions like atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
But we shouldn’t feel like this. If you or your child has eczema work on gratitude, positivity and empathy and appreciating what you have. It’s easy to say and takes a lot of work to get there but it’s worth getting help if you need it to turn around those negative thoughts you have about your skin.
It’s your biggest organ and you need it to survive. It’s doing the best it can but it needs some extra help. Hating your skin and punishing yourself because it’s bad only makes things worse. Anxiety directly affects skin and itch cycle.
She is now modeling for M&S
What I love most about this story is that this little girl didn’t let her eczema limit her. Her auntie was a model and now Macy is one too. She still has eczema but she is working with M&S modelling their eczema friendly clothing line.
M&S partnered with a company called Dream Skin to create 22 products across baby, nightwear and underwear. The new range includes an assortment of garments made using DreamSkin’s innovative polymer technology, which has been medically proven to soothe and protect the skin, lower skin temperature, help reduce friction and act as a repellent on detergent residues that can cause irritation. You can read more about this new product range here: M&S DreamSkin clothing for eczema and sensitive skin for babies and children
Atopic dermatitis in media
I applaud Marks and Spencer for recognising a minority group and creating a brand range suitable for them and that also makes their life more comfortable.
There isn’t enough representation of real eczema skin in the media, in films, TV programs, on social media. Everything is filtered and skin is always clear. Even some skincare ranges purporting to sell products specifically for eczema skin often use models without eczema. I’m talking about you E45!
It doesn’t help those living with atopic dermatitis or anyone else to understand what it’s like dealing with the pain, soreness, itching, sleepless nights and low self esteem. So this has really cheered me.
I hope Macy’s eczema continues to heal and improve and also that this story gives hope to anyone out there feeling they can’t live life to the full. It’s hard, and people probably will stare and comment but we deserve the right to live our lives without ridicule and also without limiting ourselves.
Stop, Think and consider…
If you see someone with red, sore, flaky skin, a birthmark, a burn, acne or any type of temporary or permanent disfigurement… STOP. THINK. And take a moment to process what you’re seeing. It’s often better to say nothing at all than make some inane reference to sunburn, insect bites or to just ask ‘what’s wrong with your skin?’. Just don’t do it. You might think it, but consider how it feels to have things like this said on a regular basis.
It can take a lot of bravery, effort and hours of daily self care to get ourselves ready to face the great outdoors.
It was comments like the above that made little Macy feel she never wanted to look in the mirror. We may be different but it doesn’t make us ugly or worthless. You are amazing. You are beautiful. And together we can help change attitudes and perceptions about atopic dermatitis.