Never ones to fall behind the times, talkhealth has finally jumped on board the Instagram Live train.
On Tuesday evening (11 August 2020), we ‘went live’ with the brilliant Ruth Holroyd – founder of the blog What Allergy? to talk about eczema and the mental health fall out of living with chronic skin conditions.
Eczema and the heat
Ruth took us through her own eczema journey, from childhood to the moment she decided to stop using topical steroids. As the online event took place during a mammoth heatwave, we also discussed the impact that heat can have on eczema and what steps Ruth and others might take to elevate the discomfort.
During the live, she used an ice pack to cool down and explained how she has a neck fan on standby. A keen runner, cooling down after a workout is really important for Ruth and she told us that she keeps wet or frozen towels and flannels ready for when she returns – something loads of us could benefit from whether we live with eczema or not!
TSW and mental health
Clearly, topical steroid withdrawal has had a huge impact on Ruth’s mental health – as is the case with many adult eczema survivors. However, at talkhealth, we’re aware that it can be a very contentious subject and rather than focussing on the ins and outs of TSW, we got Ruth to talk about what impact going through the process has had on her mental health. She told us that she’s had to endure questions and comments from strangers who don’t understand what she’s going through and that these can often be incredibly painful to hear. You can read more about how she deals with difficult comments in this blog post.
Ruth also shared her tips for working towards better skin positivity and greater self-acceptance.
On days when the going seems too tough, her self-care non-negotiable habits include taking baths, going for walks or runs and disconnecting from social media. While Ruth spends much of her time blogging and connecting with followers, she admitted that being so available can take its toll and that occasionally she needs to turn off her notifications so that she can focus on herself.
We ended the Live by asking Ruth what she’d like from the general public and she said ‘empathy’. One of our viewers commented that she wanted those living without eczema to fully understand the true impact that the condition can have; it’s often worse than it seems. Eczema is so common and as a result, many of us might think of it as a run-of-the-mill issue that isn’t too serious. In reality, however, eczema can be totally devastating and the mental burden is every bit has hard as the physical toll.
You can check out the full video here. If you’d like to get involved with any of our events, please do let us know.