Living With Skin Concerns
When you’re living with a chronic skin condition, it’s tempting to focus on the symptoms everyone (but especially you) can see—like bumps,rashes,scars, or plaques. But skin issues can leave invisible scars too, harming your self-esteem and maybe even your mental health.
The silver lining is that you don’t have to deal with all of this alone.We understand how exhausting it can be to live with physical and emotional symptoms, especially when it seems like everyone’s focused on the former. That’s why we’re sharing tips to help set you on the path to better confidence (regardless of what’s going on with your skin).
One of the hardest parts of your diagnosis is the feeling that you have no control over your condition. It might seem like no matter what you do, outbreaks just keep happening.
One way to get ahead of your triggers is to start keeping a skin diary. If you can set aside a few minutes every week to jot down any symptoms you experienced, what the weather was like, and what food or medications you had, you’ll eventually have a personal guide to your own unique triggers.
You can then use that information to better avoid outbreaks or treat them proactively when they can’t be avoided (we know, giving up triggers like cheese and chocolate can be hard).
Knowing all this won’t change the fact that you’ll still experience symptoms, but it might help you feel like you have a little more control over your condition and your life.
We probably don’t need to tell you that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your skin. But if you take a close look at your routine, you might find that you’re setting aside plenty of time for skincare (maybe even first thing in the morning), but less time for the daily maintenance of you.
If that sounds familiar, try carving out at least 20 minutes every day to do something that makes you feel better. That might be taking a walk, calling a friend, working on a hobby, or whatever helps remind you that you’re more than just your skin.
It’s true that being too stressed out can make outbreaks more likely, but that’s not the only reason you should be taking your mental health care just as seriously as your skincare. The real reason is that prioritizing your emotional well-being can have a huge impact on how you feel.
Sometimes, all the self-care in the world isn’t enough to change the way you feel, especially if the problem is that you’re feeling isolated. If that’s the situation you’re in, you might want to look into online spaces or real-world support groups for people who share your struggles. This list of national support groups from the Dermatology Nurses Association can help kick-start your search—try heading to the organization’s website or doing some social media research to see if they have a local chapter in your area.
If you’re already on social media all the time, try searching for groups or hashtags for your symptoms. These groups can be a great source of tips and tricks, but more importantly, they’ll help you remember that there are people out there who face the same challenges you do and that you’re not alone.
If you’ve tried some of these tips above and you still feel like your skin is getting in the way of feeling good about yourself, it might be time to consider getting help from a professional.
Part of you might feel a little reluctant to seek help for confidence concerns stemming from a skin condition. There are always people in the world who have it worse off than you, and that might make you think you shouldn’t reach out to a professional about something as “minor” as a skin issue.
Let’s be clear—you deserve to get the help you need, no matter why you need it. No therapist worth their fee would ever tell you otherwise. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you feel like you can’t do it on your own (because you don’t have to do this alone).
When you’re struggling with your confidence, it can feel like no one understands what you’re going through. But it’s important to know that if you’re struggling with your skin and your confidence, you’re not alone.
Whether it’s by talking to other people living with your condition, prioritizing what you need, or taking steps to control your symptoms, making time to remind yourself that you’re more than just your skin is just as essential as anything you have in your medicine cabinet.
Article Reviewed By
Dr. Peter Young, MD, Facet Medical Director and Board-Certified Dermatologist
Skin conditions can make you feel invisible. We see you.
Let’s clear up your skin concerns together.