have suffered from eczema for as long as I can remember.
I had red, itchy spots in the creases of my arms and legs all through my childhood, but it wasn’t until fifth grade – when we were living in hot, humid Singapore and I wore scratchy, polyester uniforms – that it really started to become a problem. Of course, this was long before the invention of the internet, so we couldn’t rely on things like Google and Pinterest to tell us what the best and most effective eczema remedies were. Our options were to slather ourselves in medicated cream or suffer.
Looking back, I recognize how fortunate I was that my skin usually responded quickly to whatever creams my doctor prescribed each time I had an eczema flare. I know others aren’t nearly as lucky, and had a taste of how that must feel when I was in the fifth grade. I don’t know what caused my eczema to flare at that particular time, but when I changed out of my school uniform into my bathing suit for swim lessons one afternoon, I noticed a huge red, puffy rash all over my legs. The memory still makes my eyes well up with tears because when I walked out to the pool with my friends, my 6-foot, 7-inch swim instructor took one look at my legs and yelled, ‘YOU’RE NOT BRINGING THAT INTO MY POOL!!!’at the top of his lungs in front of the entire class.
He told me to call my mother, who promptly took me to the doctor, and it took many, many tubes of medicated ointment before I would bare my legs in public again.
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