The Mighty Logo

27 Ridiculous Things People With Eczema Are Tired of Hearing

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

In the United States, over 30 million people have symptoms of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. Of that number, more than 18 million people have atopic dermatitis, a more severe and chronic form of the skin disease. Eczema’s symptoms include dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracks behind the ears and rashes on the cheeks, arms and legs.

The symptoms of eczema are different for each person, and they can be mild, moderate or severe. The rash may affect different parts of the body from time to time, and the itch can so bad that people will scratch themselves until they bleed, which leads to even more inflammation and itching. This is referred to as the itch-scratch cycle.

It’s not contagious, an exact cause isn’t known and no cure currently exists, but for many people, it’s a manageable condition. Still, misconceptions surround it.

So The Mighty teamed up with the National Eczema Association to ask those affected by the disease what they wish others would stop saying to them or their loved ones with eczema.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Stop scratching!” — Laura McMurrey McNamara


2. “You’re bleeding!” — Adam Simpson

3. “Have you tried ______?” (Especially if they suggest something stupid like essential oils, coconut oil, breastmilk, etc.) — Katie McGregory


4. “Did your son get bitten by a bunch of mosquitos?” — Sandy Austin

5. “Just ignore it and it will go away.” — Lucy Mercer

6. “Is it contagious?” — Kyle K. Wooten


7. “Why don’t you ever wear shorts or dresses?” — Melissa Falls

8. “People ask me what funny stuff I ate during my pregnancy that caused my kid to have eczema.” — Ummi Hanee

9. “What’s wrong with your face?” — Rachel Elliott-Golema


10. “[People say] I’m ‘fussy’ or ‘high maintenance’ because I use so many different cleansers and moisturizers and have to be careful about chemicals and fragrances.” — Becca Arm

11. “Whatever you do, don’t use steroids. You’ll get addicted and there’s a bunch of side effects!” — Jeff Kastner

12. “It’s just a rash, how bad could it be?” — Bethany Lynn Gorham


13. “I was once approached by one of my son’s classmates at a sporting event and told, ‘I know why he looks like that. He doesn’t take baths.’” — Joanna Dobos

14. “Do you have poison ivy?” — Olivia Lynn


15. “Oh, I have a wonderful (cream, lotion, essential oil, magic potion, fill-in-the-blank) that will clear that right up. Here, try some.” — Vicky Leedy Barrios

16. “Were you in a fire or something?” (Yes, or something.) — Sand Rizzle


17. “You must have an unhealthy gut, your diet is the reason.” — Sigrid Abel

18. “Have you tried moisturizing?” (I want to reply, no, it never crossed my mind.) — Maya Bewsher

19. “Why is your face red?” — Jeannie Delisi


21. “Well… what did you do to make your skin flare up?” — Amber Dobbins

22. “You need to put some lotion on that.” — Samantha Merryfield


23. “Your skin is so scaly.” — Essence Tillery

24. “Did you get sunburnt? Use sunscreen.” — Jeannie Delisi

25. “You know they have medicine for that.” — Jean Marie Leach


26. “Does she have chicken pox?” — Robyn Goodson Strickland

27. “You’ll grow out of it eventually.” — Melissa Troup Nichols


For more information about eczema, be sure to visit the National Eczema Association’s website and Facebook page.

Originally published: June 13, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home