Hi I'm Mariam (most people call me Marzi it's one of those nicknames you can't escape) and I am currently 22 years old. I try to be straight forward with my approach to things and have some form of a "go hard or go home" mentality (often the go home method is employed because I am constantly tired).
I was always relatively comfortable with my dermatitis which I had from the age of 3, it was always there so I never thought much of it really, it was itchy, sure, but it wasn't terribly noticeable.
Fast-forward to 2014 and my first semester of college where I at the time was pursuing an Animation degree and my skin decides to get what I am going to refer to as pretty pissed. It started blistering, developing spots, thickening at a fast rate and taking up camp all over my body. It caused serious sleep deprivation which translated into what I will lightly refer to as quite a sh*tty time for 17 year old me.
I left college and spent the following several months in and out of doctors offices and hospitals for all kinds of different tests and appointments. Eventually after a skin biopsy I was informed that I have a form of what is called Prurigo Nodularis (Nodular Prurigo) and also signs of another type of eczema. These types of chronic conditions are difficult to treat, there is no sure fire way to cure these because they often can have different triggers for different people.
After all that I spent the next couple years trying various (terrible) methods to cope with this ranging from trying to convince myself that I didn't care about it to trying to completely cover it up. That usually involved covering the rash in tan and makeup and barely sitting down when I went anywhere. I also mastered making my social media presence scar free by editing almost every single picture of myself with spot heal tools and blur brushes on photo editing apps.
But this didn't solve anything, I wasn't any better and I wasn't feeling good about myself, I would try to push forward and get moving on with my life but there was always something reminding me, pulling me back down. I tried to go back to college but I was just too distracted, it's like when there's something bothering you and you put it to the back of your head except that everytime you look at your body you have a reminder of it.
I started working full time because as a person and after being out of college sick with nothing to do I cannot stand being idle. Every now and again there was a familiar pull back that reminded me that I couldn't just keep running from this eg. flare-ups so bad that I couldn't even go to work. Things were getting worse and I finally realised I had to try and actually face this and accept it for what it is.
I seeked out professional help in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I can't stress enough how much I benefited from CBT. I began trying meditation, different health diets, you name it, I was giving it a go. This was all good but still too much of a practical treatment approach, the situation I was in wasn't, it was time for me to get impractical.
Which brings us to here, I wrote my first article 3 weeks into my month off work which was a result of one of my worst flare-ups to date. With this one I also got blisters on the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands. I went from being busy working and go go go to barely being able to walk around, on loads of medication, unable to shower without immense pain and unable to sleep most nights because of discomfort.
At the point of writing the article I was done with this situation and how it had taken full control of my life in what is supposed to be my prime as a young woman, my early 20s. I was also overcome with a curiosity. I began to question how many other people are out there feeling like this? how many people are out there with nobody to talk to about this that can actually understand because they've experienced it too?. In this social-media age of connectedness and everybody sharing their stories why was this not being mentioned? why wasn't there somewhere for this?. That line of questioning is what caused me to take control of my own narrative and my life for the first time in 4 years. I shared my article out to as many people as possible but was sure that wasn't enough and thus skindeeply.com was born.
If I can reach anybody out there that resonates with me, I just want you to know that you are not alone in this and you are also still beautiful, no matter the "flaw" or "imperfection". Skindeeply is here, to represent the unrepresented and show the world that real people have scars, spots, cysts, blisters and all the other seldom mentioned conditions and we are fierce.