045: Have Your Skin Rashes Made You Cynical & Distrustful?

When you feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING to stop skin rashes, it can be so frustrating that you want to throw in the towel.

The idea of having hope that you can somehow solve this puzzle get dim. And before you know it, you don’t want to hear anything that could possibly help your eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff, etc.

I hope you enjoy this episode. It’s different than the rest, but something I wanted to address because there can be dark places that skin rashes can take you emotionally. My hope is that you’ll begin to let the light crack on in through the armor you wear to protect yourself from any more disappointments.

I know how hard this can be, so please… give this episode a listen and then share your throughts below!

In this episode:

  • Feeling like you’ve done everything right, but you haven’t seen results
  • Emotional and mental burnout that leads to you losing hope
  • Jennifer’s “dark place” after so many failed attempts
  • Toxic vulnerability triggered by skin rashes
  • How to begin stepping out of the negative mindset that only sees failure ahead

QUOTES:

Suffering from my eczema was a dark place to be – walking through life with what has become a really big chip on my shoulder about pretty much anything that had to do with my skin. I THOUGHT that this intense skepticism, weariness, and bitterness was a way to control what I was exposed to and what I’d let in. But it truly wasn’t. I spent so much time “protecting myself” from anything that offered a shred of hope, that I couldn’t feel hope anymore.

I started building this wall between myself and anyone who made any sort of suggestions or recommendations. Thinking the whole time that “you don’t understand my suffering. I’m going to protect myself from any attempt at hope because I can’t take any more failure. I’m not going to be vulnerable anymore.” And when you take a 2000ft view, skin rashes make us both physically as well as emotionally vulnerable.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Welcome back to episode #45 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today's episode, I’m talking about what I call “Health Quest Burnout”.

Here’s what I mean…

You’ve gone to doctor after doctor trying to get help with your skin and other symptoms and conditions.

You’ve spent countless hours online searching Dr. Google and jumping in and out of rabbit holes desperately seeking missing clues.

You’ve tried creams, salves, supplements, medications, lifestyle changes, and all sorts of homemade remedies…

Hoping that *something* will work.

It’s not uncommon that after a certain point, you can feel like the skin rashes start to break you.

They take over and wreck your carefully made plans (or even the most mundane experiences like showering).

Bit by bit, they chip away until you don’t recognize your life (or your skin) anymore. You lose control over your life as so much of your time and energy goes into dealing with your skin.

And you can get to a point where you think, “I’ve tried everything. I’m doomed.”

It’s a dark place… and I know because I was there once.

Woman fighting

Struggles Only Someone Living With Skin Rashes Understands

Many of you know my eczema story. I become horrified watching eczema take so much away from me!

Working out, teaching cooking classes, volunteering with a cat rescue, touching pretty much anything, opening door knobs (or lids), taking showers, washing my face daily…

I felt horribly embarrassed to be social and meet new people because the first thing you do is shake hands.

No one wants to shake a hand that looks like it’s diseased.

Even though I was able to eventually get my skin turned around (through a lot of hard work), I was left in the process with lots of products and concoctions that didn’t help.

I was cleaning out my “product” drawer the other day, and still couldn’t throw out all of the tubs and jars of products I bought that didn’t help.

It’s silly, I know…

But I spent so much money on them.

One day, I’ll let them go. For now, I keep them even though I’ll likely never use any of them again.

In the process of accumulating so much knowledge and spending so much on products, I started to get very skeptical and eventually almost bitter.

I felt like everyone who was sharing something was just trying to get something from me.

That my suffering was just a means to an end for them…

And that I was just potential dollar signs in their bank account.

Even someone sharing that “there’s hope” or “this happens for a reason” felt like an increasingly difficult pill to swallow.

I didn’t want to hear that anymore. I couldn’t just “be positive”.

I was angry.

And slowly that bitterness closed in upon my mindset as I secluded myself more and more from friends and family.

Woman with umbrella walking in rain

Protecting Yourself From Skin Rash Trauma

Suffering from my eczema was a dark place to be – walking through life with what has become a really big chip on my shoulder about pretty much anything that had to do with my skin.

I THOUGHT that this intense skepticism, weariness, and bitterness was a way to control what I was exposed to and what I’d let in. But it truly wasn’t.

I spent so much time “protecting myself” from anything that offered a shred of hope, that I couldn’t feel hope anymore.

When one thing didn’t go my way or made things worse — like trying a new cream or some supplement I read about on a random website late at night — I was ready to throw in the towel.

“What’s the point of even trying when it probably won’t work?” I’d say to myself. It was a way to ward off and avoid more disappointment… and at least I could control that.

Every step that I took towards cynicism, distrust and even bitterness (to some degree), the greater the walls I built around me.

The negative attitude became my armor fending off yet another failure before I even got there.

Frustrated woman using laptop

Have You Really Tried EVERYTHING?

It wasn’t until my husband finally said to me at my lowest point — “have you really tried EVERYTHING?”

The truth was that I hadn’t.

I was going off what I’d read online because the dermatologist wasn’t any help and basically throwing darts in the dark hoping that something would work!

But the truth is… I didn’t actually know what was going on under the surface. There was no cohesive plan or clear direction.

Just me playing a giant game of whack-o-mole — and failing miserably.

His question helped me see that taking a step back and focusing on looking deeper was more important than spending hours reading study after study on single nutrients for the skin.

That intervention changed everything for me!

When I look back now, I see a number of parallels to the faulty or leaky barrier that was my skin and this mindset.

I felt so out-of-control especially because nothing that I tried worked.

Anxious woman

Vulnerability Of Skin Rashes

After a point, I became frustrated (and then angry)… and I needed to direct that energy somewhere because it couldn’t just stay stuck in me.

So I started building this wall between myself and anyone who made any sort of suggestions or recommendations.

Thinking the whole time that “you don’t understand my suffering”.

“I’m going to protect myself from any attempt at hope because I can’t take any more failure.”

“I’m not going to be vulnerable anymore.”

When you take a 2000ft view, skin rashes make us both physically as well as emotionally vulnerable.

And vulnerability can be incredibly uncomfortable. Especially when you’re being starred at, worried that you’ll be starred at, fending off unwelcome advice (or dumb comments or jokes), missing out on life and work, and feeling utterly unsupported by family, friends and medical professionals.

I’m no expert in vulnerability, but I have experienced my fair share in life both as a kid growing up constantly teased and as an adult living with eczema.

And I can tell you one thing — the wall you build around yourself might feel safe, but it ultimately can feel very limiting.

You literally feel like there are no options nor chances again in front of you because you’ve experienced too much disappointment.

And it shuts you away from taking an active role in your skin puzzle.

Sure, you stay safe from potential disappointment, but you also hide and close yourself off to things that could legitimately help you.

I have you say that having hope is necessary to keep on going.

Dark and doubtful moments are normal (and they shouldn’t be ignored).

But you weren’t put here to end up in a position to give up.

Maybe… just maybe it’s time to look at your skin puzzle from a different perspective or angle as an act of self love.

If you’re open to that, here’s what I’d suggest right now to help you step out from behind your negative emotions (aka. The vulnerability wall).

Woman stepping out from behind wall

Tips For Stepping Out From Behind Your Vulnerability Wall

  1. When you feel skepticism creep in, look for good scientific references and information that backs up what you’re reading.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Avoid making sweeping generalizations about people’s intentions. Get to know the people and companies that you follow. Interact with them and get a sense of what drives them.
  4. Speaking of people — vet the experts and influencers you follow. What type of degrees do they have and are they actually qualified to support your skin problems? Is their biographical and education information with easy to find? If you’re interested in working with them, do they have experience with your specific concerns?
  5. When you say “I’ve tried everything and nothing worked”, ask yourself… is that REALLY true? You may have tried all sorts of products you found online or have seen all the dermatologists in your area. But that’s just one way of doing things. There are others avenues and ways to look at your skin that’s more systematic and plan-oriented.
  6. Ask yourself — Do you know what’s actually driving your skin issues? And then once you identify those problems, what’s driving those underlying problems? There are layers to the process and usually go much deeper than just your skin.

I hope these six tips give you a jumping off point to get started.

Yes, it’s a journey, but one that can yield gifts as long as you don’t give up.

That you’re here listening to this means that you haven’t completely lost hope.

And I am grateful to have you here.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

Leave them on the post for this episode!

Remember to subscribe, rate and review the Healthy Skin Show podcast — because without your support, this show wouldn’t exist! And share this episode to spread the word to those struggling with skin rashes that there are more options out there than just steroid cream.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you the next time!

walking through life with what has become a really big chip on my shoulder about pretty much anything that had to do with my skin. I THOUGHT that this intense skepticism, weariness, and bitterness was a way to control what I was exposed to and what I’d let in. But it truly wasn’t.