10 Must Read Books if You Have Eczemaby Ashley Wall Patient Advocate
We’ve become accustomed to reading clickbait headlines, snarky articles, and briefly skimming through stories, but there’s something magical about picking up a book and getting lost in it. Reading improves your concentration, reduces stress, helps build your self-esteem, and inspires. Here’s a list of inspirational books for those having a tough time with their eczema.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Grab a bag of popcorn and your favorite drink when you read this book. Noah’s storytelling comes to life as he recalls life in an apartheid South Africa, as a poor biracial kid. Not only will you be laughing throughout most of this book, but you’ll find a new-found appreciation for such adversity. Although life had dealt him certain cards, his mother's sacrifice and his will to strive landed him a successful gig as a night talk show host. I can honestly say, this is one of my favorite memoirs and it will surely be yours too.
Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin by Adina Grigore
Grigore is the founder of S.W. Basics, a natural skincare line that prides itself on using five ingredients or less. Grigore has dealt with sensitive skin throughout her life and understood the solutions presented to her weren’t working. So she took matters into her own hands and learned about holistic health and nutrition and healing from within. Not only is this an informative read about nutrition and skin, but Grigore's story is all too familiar as anyone with skin issues can relate.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The different perspectives of the characters in this book were blended together perfectly to captivate life through the eyes of youth. Palacio based this book on her own experiences, where her child reacted in fear after seeing a fellow kid with a disfigured face. This story centers around Auggie a brilliant fifth grader who happens to have a condition which required 27 surgeries. His facial deformities left him homeschooled up until the fifth grade when he enters Beecher Middle School. You’ll experience life through the lens of Auggie, and a few others in this compelling and uplifting story.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai’s survival captivated the world. This autobiography reflects what her life was like in Pakistan under the control of the Taliban. Defying all odds, she fought for a right to her education, which led her to being brutally shot. Not letting that stop her, she went on to recover, give speeches, and become the youngest Nobel Prize, winner. Her story is a reminder that anything is possible.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Often people who have chronic conditions are used to saying no. Isolation is a huge part of dealing with a skin condition, especially if your skin is inflamed and you’re in pain. Shonda Rhimes is the writer of hit TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. Due to her success, she’s constantly invited to events, dinners, and industry parties. As an introvert, it’s common for her to turn a good portion of them down. Until her sister calls her out, which inspired her to say yes to everything for one year. What she learns on this journey allows her to open herself up to a whole new world.
21 lessons for the 21st century by Yuval Noah Harari
This book is all about perspective, challenges, engagement, and how we can navigate this in the twenty-first century. Much like the eczema community, this book is about getting the conversations started. He asks the hard-hitting questions that really make you stop and think about the what ifs and how can we handle certain events if they were to become true. In this world of uncertainty, he wants us to start questioning and preparing for the certainty.
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
A remarkable story about a new girl named Jessica who happens to be a burn victim. This book is told in the perspective of Tom a seventh grader, who’s observant of his classmate's treatment of someone who is so visibly different on the outside. His friendship with Jessica changes his life, as he confronts a new form of acceptance that he’s never known, but one that deeply impacts him.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
Now you might think this is an odd choice but hear me out. After watching the Netflix series, I thought about the importance of cooking your own meals ESPECIALLY if you have eczema, skin conditions or sensitivities in general. There are way too many processed junk foods marketed to us. Even worse is that many of us have made this a go-to because it makes our busy lives easier. In this book, you’ll learn the basics of different cooking methods, but also the importance of flavor in real foods and spices.
Brain on Fire: My Mouth of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
This book is purely about struggle and how one’s life can turn upside down in an instant. Based on a true story, Cahalan was twenty-four years old when she’d lost her memory. Strapped to a hospital bed and deemed a flight risk, she recounts her diagnosis that led her to this eventful time in her life.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Before you read this, you might want to grab a few tissues. This book adds a heart-warming touch on a very serious matter. Hazel is a sixteen-year-old with stage IV thyroid cancer. In her support group, she happens to meet a guy named Augustus, who’s in remission. Although this story is about the final moments of life, it really opens your eyes to the thought process of one suffering from terminal illness. And a reminder that you never know what someone’s going through. It’s also an important lesson to live life to the fullest.