Living with atopy
Samena Chaudhry explains why her hopes of a becoming a surgeon have been shattered
Having reached the end of my third year as a medical student, I think the chances of my growing out of atopic eczema have become slim. I am not ill in the sense that I need rehabilitation or expensive drugs, and this sometimes makes it difficult to spot where along a scale of ill health I lie. Days go past where no one would know that I was different. But all it needs is one night of unconscious rubbing and scratching to ruin everything. I dread waking up to a bed full of dead flakes of skin and scabs. I loathe the stiff sensation created by the newly laid layers of reptile-like skin. But the most abhorrent task of all is the sight of my reddened scaly swollen face in the mirror. It takes repeated applications of steroid creams and tubs of emollient to heal the wounds and resoften myself.