For most people living with atopic dermatitis, it’s relentless itching and scratching. For Tanya Mohan, a woman living with atopic dermatitis, “the itch is like a habit I can’t kick; it’s always there and takes precedence over everything I do.”
Watch what happened when someone had the chance to spend a night in someone else’s shoes.
TANYA: For those of us who suffer from atopic dermatitis, also commonly referred to as eczema, there’s really no such thing as having a good night’s sleep.
TANYA: My hands would cramp from itching so much. You know my nails, I could never have long nails. And they were always maintained at a short level so it didn’t do too much damage.
TANYA: I’m so anxious about what I am going to do to myself. To feeling any pain, to having any bleeding. That level of anxiety grows as time goes on. I’m actually having an internal dialogue with myself, what will I look like tomorrow? I hope it's not on my face this time.
TANYA: When I was a child, I did have trouble sleeping. I was always itchy at night and the first line of defense for me was calling out to my parents.
TANYA: Sometimes they would offer ice packs, sometimes gloves. I ordered a special face mask that was actually like a balaclava. Where everything is covered so I wouldn’t scratch at my skin but of course I would remove that.
TANYA: For those who suffer from atopic dermatitis, which is a form of eczema, they do not get a good night’s sleep.
GINA: So when I got into the bed, it was quite uncomfortable I felt very uncomfortable. The sheets were burlap and heavy and the bed was heating up in different areas. I think I just got a small piece of what it was like.
GINA: I’m sorry, I don’t think I fully understood what you were going through all these years. I can’t imagine to actually have to mentally put energy while I’m tired into thinking about this and not scratching and have that anxiety. I didn’t understand the magnitude at all.