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Skin conditions greatly influence general well-being

By Preet Bhogal  

Growing up in Nova Scotia, I recall there was a cold October day each year when I realized winter was on the way. It brought the promise of sledding on freshly fallen snow, but also meant overheated rooms that made me sweaty and itchy because of my eczema. 

My skin condition has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It isn’t life-threatening. In fact, people often assume that using cream and steering away from triggers is all skin patients need to do. Unfortunately, that’s not always true – unhealthy skin can lead to serious illness. As a child, I had to spend many days in the hospital for my chronic eczema. Growing up, I learned to take my condition seriously. I know that it greatly influences my general well-being. 

“Living with eczema can take a big toll on a person’s self-esteem and I know that skin patients are more likely to suffer from depression than the average person.

Through a combination of treatment and management, my skin condition doesn’t affect my life as much as it did when I was younger. But it’s still something I have to cope with every day. Living with eczema can take a big toll on a person’s self-esteem and I know that skin patients are more likely to suffer from depression than the average person. Support is important, especially from family, friends and medical professionals. 

It made a big difference for me to understand that I wasn’t alone – that there were others living with skin conditions and that there was support available, from friends and relatives, but also from organizations like the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (www.canadianskin.ca). 

Preet Bhogal grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Ottawa, where he works in the non-profit sector. He is proud of his large winter wardrobe.

 

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