I suffer from the skin condition eczema. I have a particularly bad case, if all the dermatologists who have said, “You have the worst eczema I’ve ever seen!” are to be believed.1
Not to mention all the random people who remark with horror/concern/morbid curiosity, “Oh my, what happened to your [arm/face/hands]?” “Did you burn yourself?” “Has Collin been splashing you with acid when you’re out of line?”2
It flares up with stress. You know what I imagine will cause me some stress? My wedding. And I’d really rather not have red, cracked, peeling skin on my hands and face the day I get married. Or any day, really.
This morning I woke up and the skin around my eyes had cracked along all my little expression lines, oozing in some places. I put on some skin cream, it burned. I canceled my plans to go to a baseball game because I didn’t want the unseasonably cold wind to further stress my skin.
I’m not going to be able to cancel my wedding if (when) my skin acts up that day. So I guess this means I have to go back to a dermatologist, have my exceptionally effed-up skin remarked upon and possibly photographed, and say, “Please help me fix my skin for my wedding.” And if the dermatologist were a cartoon character, his head would start making cash register noises and his eyes would scroll through ever-increasing numbers of dollar signs before—KA-CHING—landing on “SALE” tabs.
I’ll shell out big bucks for steroid creams with unpleasant side effects. I’ll take rose oil pills and pray for at least a placebo effect. I’ll pretend because eczema is a disease and because it causes physical discomfort that this isn’t mostly about vanity.
And if I turn evil, I’ll pitch to the dermatology practice that they should really consider setting up a booth at the Bridal Expo.
1Last time I saw a dermatologist, I had my hands photographed for use in educational materials. If someone shows you an illustration of hyperlinear palms, they could be mine!
2This is an actual question asked by my actual gigantic, scary, detective-in-West-Baltimore cousin in the presence of my actual fiancé, who may have actually shuddered with actual terror.