A Maltese youth has shared personal and vulnerable images of what it’s like living with eczema, the common and visible skin condition that affects 1 in 5 kids.
“These pictures were hard to take and will be even harder to tap the ‘Share’ to post them,” Hailey Borg said on social media alongside some powerful photos.
“I have had eczema my whole life and it’s never brought me to love it,” the 15-year-old continued. “Because I always had the mindset to cover it up or to never be proud of it. I wanted to push myself to start loving the skin I have, to start loving the protection it provides me, to start loving from within.”
Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough.
Blisters may sometimes occur – and it affects between 1-3% of adults and 10-20% of children.
Hailey wanted to share the photos to begin loving her own body, no matter what she saw online.
“It gets harder when social media is just everyone posting pictures in their swimsuits or showing a big amount of skin. I could never feel comfortable showing it,” she says.
“But maybe from this post onwards, things will be different.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Hailey explained why she wanted to raise awareness over the skin condition.
“Living with eczema is not something that everyone can relate to,” she said. “When you do have eczema or any other skin condition, it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude towards it. This is because when everyone else in the world has ‘perfect’ skin and yours isn’t, you judge yourself and feel that you have to have ‘perfect’ skin in order to be and feel beautiful.”
Having struggled to feel comfortable and confident in her own skin, she also dealt with the effects on her mental health, leading to lower self-esteem – but she’s working on growing to be comfortable in her own skin.
“I usually never post pictures showing areas where my affected skin with eczema shows,” she says.
“But I wanted to change my attitude towards myself and raise awareness that having eczema is beautiful and even though I don’t have the perfect skin, it doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is that I feel beautiful and confident having it, as it is a part of who I am.
“I wanted to break the stigma that beauty does not need to look a certain way.”
“Lastly, my message for teens that do have eczema or any other skin condition is that: you are not alone and you deserve to be and feel beautiful.”
Hailey ended by sending a powerful message to everyone living with a skin condition.
“Since we are still growing up and trying to discover who we are we shouldn’t let anyone or a skin condition define us,” she ended. “No matter how intense the skin condition is, we should still love our bodies from within and never let anything or anyone tell us not to. You are beautiful no matter what condition or insecurities you have. Love yourself as if it was the last thing to do.”