Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a health condition that makes skin red and itchy. It is most common in people who have a family history of the condition and although it typically develops in early childhood, it can occur at any age.

Our Health Stories Project community shared encouraging words for others living with eczema because they don’t want other people struggling with this condition to feel alone. Here’s what they had to say:

Don’t give up, you’re not alone

“Don’t let eczema keep you down, don’t stop trying new things, and stay positive. You are not alone.” – Anonymous

“It’s a hard road but it will eventually clear up and you will successfully learn to have to live with it.” – Rachael

“Keep going, it can get better! I had severe eczema as a kid, moderate through my 20s and now at almost 40 it has gotten better finally!” – Anonymous

“Be Strong!!!! It’s okay your not alone in this!” – Chay

Live your life

“You only have one life to live, so live it to the best of your ability.” -Anonymous

“Own it, it makes you unique!” – Dino

“I’ve had eczema for nearly all my life. I was so insecure of my legs, arms, and face but its wasn’t the end of the world. Youth is limited so don’t let your skin hold you back. Wear those shorts, wear that short sleeve, don’t hide your face. My eczema has been clearing out on my face since I’ve switch to using moisturizer with Hyaluronic acid. I use hydrocortisone for the itchy areas, its been working pretty well for me.” – Marylin

Advocate for yourself

“Don’t feel bad when you have your flare ups, don’t be afraid to over moisturize even when you’re outside of your home and above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your doctors when your treatment just isn’t working anymore.” – Anonymous

“Find a doctor who is willing to find out what works for you.” – Anonymous

“Trust your own judgment. Allow doctors to give information and options, but don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with. My doctor tried to prescribe a steroid injection for it. I told her I wasn’t interested. She kept encouraging me to do it. I later researched the drug and saw some terrible reviews and detox problems that come with it. Trust your gut on what your body needs.” – Rhylee

“Go to a dermatologist and find what things trigger your flare-ups. For some its a type of food, the weather, stress, or other things. Try your best to avoid those things and your eczema will be reduced.” – Anonymous