Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

In a society where there are constant medical, technological, and social progress, you would think that diseases which affect many and have no cure would have a solution by now. However, it isn’t always the case. In the U.S. alone, about 31.6 million have symptoms of eczema while worldwide, about 20 percent of children and up to 3 percent of the adult population have some form of eczema.

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There are eight types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, lichen simplex chronicus, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis. Living with eczema can be an ongoing challenge. The word “eczema” is derived from a Greek word meaning “to boil over,” which is a good description for the red, inflamed, itchy patches that occur during flare-ups. Eczema can range from mild, moderate, to severe.

My family is one of the many worldwide that have been affected by this incurable disease. My little sister is a 15-year-old girl; on the Varsity Volleyball Team as the only sophomore, passionate about art, has great friends, good grades, and was someone who had finally found her niche in the overwhelming world of high school. It’s hard to ignore the presence of social media in today’s society, but the takeover of these forums is changing the way young women view and present themselves. They feel the need to be just like “everyone else,” meaning beautifully flawless skin, that the size they wear is all that matters. However, as an individual affected by this disease, she is limited to what she can eat, wear, do, etc.

Normally, eczema is manageable, maybe only a couple patches localized on different parts of the body. However, my little sister’s case is very different. She is affected from head to toe, even her eyelids itch and flake and ooze. Recently, her body has taken a huge toll, one of which I was completely unaware of until I went home and was able to see firsthand how much pain she was really in. She had an instance before, over a decade ago where she was hospitalized and placed in the NICU as a baby and her skin was so damaged that they couldn’t even put an IV in the conventional way – they had to put it through her nose. Her skin is that of a burn patient, she hurts to move, even to sit up, crying in pain as she moves through the house, she’s prone to infection as her body has completely shut down and is oozing out toxins, but cannot protect itself from the outside elements. The topical steroids that doctors have prescribed have not only masked the severity of the issue, but also have weakened her skin to the point where it’s now hurting her not helping her. We don’t know when she’ll be okay again, we don’t even know how to help her. So, in addition to dealing with her physical pains, she is also now is dealing with the pains of how society views her. She is a fifteen-year-old girl, one who just wants to be with her friends, play volleyball, go to school. But her life has been turned upside down by this medical condition.

Eczema research has been put on the backburner thus far simply because it’s not something that people see as an eminent problem. But it’s a disease with no cure, and I want to do anything that I can to help. Whether it be spreading awareness about eczema or raising funding for research, every little bit helps. So, I’m just asking if you could donate even one dollar, one dollar to help fund research so that one day, maybe something will be developed that can ease the pain, that one day a fifteen-year-old girl won’t be seen as a monster, so that one day, families will never experience the pain and the helplessness that my family has and still feels today.

  • Ember Benatti 
    • $11 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 46 mos
    • $35 
    • 46 mos
  • Anne Liu 
    • $500 
    • 46 mos
See all


Chloe Chan 
Orange, CA
National Eczema Association 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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