Fill in the Blank

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SOPHIE: One word I would use to describe my journey with eczema is—

ROCCO: It’s not a fun journey.

VOICEOVER: We found four people living with eczema, including one dermatologist, to fill us in on their experiences with eczema. Welcome to Eczema HQ. This is Fill in the Blank.

SUPER: Fill in the Blank


JANE: I’ve suffered with eczema since I was 17.

SUPER: Sophie, WA

SOPHIE: I’ve actually had eczema since the day I was born.

SUPER: Christina, LA

CHRISTINA: I’ve been living with eczema for my entire life.

SUPER: Rocco, OH

ROCCO: I’m a lifelong eczema sufferer, and I’m also a dermatologist.

SUPER: I realized I needed to do something about my eczema when _______.

ROCCO: It was my itch, and when it would just control me, I couldn’t sleep.

JANE: It would be a—a cycle of itchiness, burning, peeling—and constant. And it was not getting better, it was getting worse; so I knew I had to do something.

SUPER: The most important part of my current eczema routine is _______.

CHRISTINA: Moisturizing.

JANE: That’s, like, you have to do that as soon as you get out of the shower.

SOPHIE: When I forget to moisturize or when I forget to bring moisturizer with me, I honestly, if I can’t find it, I’ll go home.

SUPER: Something I wish people understood about eczema is _______.

CHRISTINA: Oh, this is a good one. I’ve got a couple somethings, okay? No, I am not ashy. I’m not contagious. No, I cannot just stop scratching. It itches a lot.

ROCCO: Right? And you hear people say, like, "Oh, how many itch-free days have you had?” It’s like, "Itch-free days?” I’m like, "Huh?” Like, what planet—I don’t have an itch-free ten minutes.

SUPER: Something I would tell my younger self about eczema is _______.

SOPHIE: It’s not your fault that you have this in the first place. Especially when I was younger, I blamed myself a lot when my skin was bad. And I would also say don’t keep getting your hopes up out of growing out of it completely. If I wasn’t so set on waiting to grow out of it, I probably would have gained that independence and like acceptance a lot earlier on.

CHRISTINA: That would have helped a lot with the bullying, you know, from the kids and stuff like that. And no pun intended, but I’ve grown a thicker skin at this point. You can’t even insult me with eczema anymore. Oh, gator skin. And the shoes to match, boo-boo.

SUPER: The best experience I had working with a doctor was _______.

ROCCO: The best experience I had working with a doctor was a physician just listening to me and understanding what the burden of eczema is—how it goes beyond what they’re seeing in the skin.

CHRISTINA: Wow, what you said, it was almost like you were reading my mind. Whenever they actually listen to you and make you feel like a human that’s going through this, it feels great.

SUPER: The best I ever felt about my eczema was _______.

ROCCO: The best I ever felt about my eczema was realizing I’m not alone in the battle. There are other people out there that have similar problems I do, and it’s nice connecting with those people.

SUPER: A big thank you to Jane, Christina, Rocco, and Sophie for sharing your eczema experiences.

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