It is thought that eczema may be an outlet for one's emotions and is exacerbated by stress. It could equally be said that eczema may cause emotional stress. Either way, eczema can justifiably be described as a condition you 'wear'. The psychological aspects of eczema are very imprecise but undoubtedly there are psychological factors in many illnesses.
It is common that eczema can have a bearing on a person's life and may affect their personality. Atopic eczema is tedious to control and sometimes painful. Much time and energy has to be invested in skincare. It's not an easy condition to live with and others usually don't understand it.
The person with eczema may be quite sensitive about their condition. Self-consciousness is common. People may withdraw socially, believing that skin disease carries a stigma. This can affect the person's social and emotional development. In school children may be singled by their classmates. Embarrassment and isolation may lead to lowered self-esteem and under-performance at school.
Practical issuesParents should be sensitive to the possibility that their child may be bullied, bearing in mind that just because your child has eczema does not mean they will be treated any differently. As with any child, close contact with the school is very beneficial. There may also be practical issues to be discussed with the teacher, particularly if the child needs treatment during school hours.
Both children and adults experience the discomfort of itching, especially at night. Sleeping patterns may be disrupted, which could reduce the person's ability to function well mentally during the day. This can affect performance at work and at school. When children cannot sleep at night they often want to sleep with their parents. This causes further disruption of sleep in both the parent and child. A suitable compromise should be worked out.
Where there may be psychological problems in eczema, there are a wide range of approaches that may prove useful including counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and TM.