It Started With A Few Dry Patches Of Skin…

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 10/21/2014

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What started out on my face as a few small dry itchy spots earlier this spring progressed into a larger red dry patch to the side of my right eye that has been there since the end of July.  In early October, the skin condition on my face intensified.  My face felt very itchy, red spots appeared on random areas, have dried out and are continuing to peel.  Last week, my eyes began stinging and tearing up.

My journey to find a solution started by seeing a dermatologist.  He diagnosed me with nummular dermatitis and prescribed a hydrocortisone cream to rub onto the dry patches.  He also suggested putting Aquaphor on my entire face after washing it while it was still damp to lock in the moisture.  After months of taking his advice and having the dry patches still there, I began researching my condition only to discover that hydrocortisone cream doesn’t heal dry patches.

Be Your Own Advocate

This made me realize the need to become my own advocate.  In my research, I’ve learned it’s most likely not nummular dermatitis, but a form of eczema that is not curable and can only be managed – that is what western medicine says.  I’ve always leaned more towards the natural holistic approach to health and was even more convinced to take this route after watching Lissa Rankin’s TED Talk The Shocking Truth About Your Health.

I met with a Naturopath to determine the root cause of my eczema.  She asked me in-depth questions to understand my lifestyle, eating habits, environment, work, stresses, etc.  Based on that, she suggested that my cortisol levels are compromising my immune system and causing inflammation in my body.  Our conversation left me feeling hopeful about healing my skin from the inside out.

If doctors have not been able to find a solution to your condition or if your condition continues to persist, become your own advocate.  Becoming your own advocate is a form of self-love.  When you take matters into your own hands by educating yourself on your condition and potential solutions, you have more options to make decisions and choices that are in your best interest.

Slow Down and Show Some Self Love

The past few years, I’ve been working an 8 to 5 full-time job while building my coaching business after hours and on many weekends.  I’m fortunate in that I love both my full-time job and coaching business.  Although my schedule is busy, my husband and I still spend good time together and have a healthy and loving relationship.

Working two jobs with the mentality of always doing my best and worrying about others have taken a toll on me.  The eczema is my body’s way of telling me to slow down, nurture myself and show some self-love.  To be honest, it’s been challenging to reconcile doing my best with slowing down as these two seem to oppose each other.  As I’ve been sitting with this, I’m opening up to a different perspective that slowing down is necessary for doing my best in the long run.

Slowing down for me will be scaling down, carving time out for myself and spending more time being instead of doing.  I will be on a super clean detox food plan for the next month, take supplements to detox, relieve allergies and inflammation of my skin, and will:

  • Shut down technology (i.e. laptop, iPhone, etc.) an hour before sleeping.
  • Prepare for bed by reading, breathing, mediating or stretching an hour before bed time.
  • Get more sleep, at least 8 hours every night.
  • Exercise more frequently and consistently.

One of the many ways I love connecting with successful women like you is through the written word.  I spend thoughtful time on each article that I personally write.  After much consideration, I’ve made this difficult decision – I will be taking some time off from writing for my blog.  After healing myself, I will begin writing and posting again.  

If you are taking my Woo Course, I will be here supporting you.  Please continue asking me your questions and sharing your experience with me.   

If you are a subscriber to your Monthly Guide to Love, I will continue writing these guides to help you be more successful in love.

On a Personal Note

I’ve had relatively good skin on my face until this recent eruption.  Since then, it’s been a humbling experience.  Instead of make-up, I wear coconut oil followed by sunscreen which clearly shows my red spots and peeling skin.

At first, I was self-conscious and a bit uncomfortable when making eye contact with people.  My thought was, “What are they thinking about my face?  Do they think it’s contagious?”  Reactions have been interesting.  Some people show no reaction.  Others stare a bit too long (or maybe I imagined this).  Still some are very direct.  One co-worker said, “Dude, what are those red spots on your face?”  Another said, “Oh my God.  What happened?”  And the next day said, “I was really afraid for you…”

My discomfort continues dissipating as I sit with how I am feeling about people’s reactions and my reactions to theirs.  As I am accepting what is, thoughts of, “My face shouldn’t be like this” makes way for “I want to handle this with grace.”  This experience is giving me the opportunity to go deeper into self-love in these ways.

  • How others react to something that is not visually pleasing or the norm has to do with them.  I have a choice in how I respond and what I do with what they share.  In other words, their energy doesn’t have to become my energy.
  • Loving myself has everything to do with my inner appearance.  As I’m loving myself from the inside, I’m noticing that I’m being more kind and gentle with myself and others around me.
  • While I’m an empathetic person to begin with, this condition is bringing out a deeper level of compassion towards myself and others.
  • None of my self-worth is tied to my outer appearance.  Self-worth is more than skin deep.  It’s how I see and interact with myself during challenging times.

The interesting thing is I am feeling less self-conscious, less uncomfortable when making eye contact with people, and more confident within myself.  I am also feeling more at ease because I am surrendering to what is.  Without resistance, I see things more clearly and understand that every time we accept and embrace life’s challenges, we love ourselves more.

My Wish for You

If you haven’t been feeling well, are in pain, or just don’t feel right, don’t continue down the same path.  Show yourself some love by listening to what your body is telling you.  Slow down if you’ve been doing too much.  Be your own advocate so that you can do what is needed to heal yourself in a gentle and loving way. When your body speaks, please listen.

It is easier to love yourself when your outer appearance is visually pleasing or matches the norm.  The opportunity for growth expands in learning to love yourself when your outer appearance is compromised.  If you find yourself in this kind of situation, be gentle with yourself.  You will see yourself through a different lens and learn to love yourself even more.  May you always find ways to love yourself no matter the situation.


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