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It was a humid summer day. The air was thick and scorching. At 7 months pregnant, I was barely holding my composure while interviewing a budding bakery owner in her kitchen. I  was uncomfortable to say the least, and the heat mixed with my hormones had become arch enemies of my eczema.

I was in the middle of my questions when my interviewee turned the tables with an question of her own.

“Do you have eczema?” she asked.

I was caught off guard. I felt embarrassed and for a brief second wondered if I should reprimand her for crossing my personal boundaries. I was frozen. I felt like a little girl anytime I caught someone staring in disgust at the tiny oozing red, bumps on my skin, but I didn’t. Instead I calmly replied, “Yes. I have eczema. I’ve had it all my life. It’s the worst during the hotter months.”

“Wow! I asked because you seem so comfortable like you’re not trying to hide it. My 8-year-old daughter has it and is so self-conscious. She wears sweaters in the summer even on hot days. She stays in her room and refuses to interact when her skin is acting up. I wish she knew how beautiful she was. I’ve tried everything to help her, but I am not sure I know how,” she explained

Before I could respond she opened her phone and showed me the most beautiful little brown girl with such an welcoming smile hidden under loads of jackets, sweaters and neck-up selfies.

Her mom was right. She was indeed beautifully hidden in plain sight.

Since the age of 4, my skin journeyed from being clear and severely inflamed. If you’re familiar with eczema–a condition which causes inflammation of the skin with symptoms ranging from severe dryness to weeping and itchiness, then you know all too well how this can impact one’s life.

I knew exactly how her daughter felt. I, too, was teased for my skin and hid myself in the house refusing to wear tank tops like the other little girls because I was ashamed of my skin. But I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I intentionally wore a multicolored cotton chiffon dress with spaghetti straps that allowed just enough air circulate through my body to stay cool, exposing the red and inflamed patches in the creases of my arms. It was a conscious decision. Over the years, I’d stop resisting that eczema was just part of who I was and eventually decided I didn’t need to hide anymore. And she didn’t either. I wish I could’ve embraced such a young lady and tell her she was beautiful with her skin condition like I wish someone had done for me.

Without much thought I earnestly gave her mother  a slew of tidbots, including diet modifications, self care and of course my favorite Eucerin products and regimes that have been God-sent that have worked for me, including:

Skin Calming Body Wash – Walmart, $9.38

Eucerin’s Calming Body Wash

At the onset of any break out, I whip out my favorite body wash, lathering every inch of my body while in the shower with Eucerin’s Calming Body Wash. I typically use this in the place of soap to ease itching and irritation. This body wash is without question, a staple in my life, and unlike typical body washes as its Omega oil-based properties leave my dry and irritated skin feeling moisturized and smooth. I absolutely love it!