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Listen closer, do you want to know a secret?

They say it’s good to talk. I was noodling on my laptop and my mum suddenly loomed over my shoulder. I was on skinawareness.org just checking that things were working properly. She asked me how things were going with SDBM. I nonchalantly replied “ok”. Then, to my great surprise, she started telling me something she had never told me before. It was as if she was revealing a great secret.

She told me she suffered on and off for years with terrible prickly heat rash. It first occurred when she was about 20. Prickly heat rash, also called miliaria, develops after a person sweats far more than usual and sweat glands become blocked. In her case, the rash covered the top of her chest, spread over her shoulders and down her back. She also had it on the inside of her forearms from her wrist to her elbow. This condition came and went for decades.

A few days after her revelation about her own condition, my mother told me about her fears for me as a baby. Apparently, I was quite plump as a baby (aren’t all healthy babies plump? I thought this is what makes babies look so cute). In my first year, I was hospitalised three times because I developed an aggressive form of miliaria. I had to have the fluid drained out of the blisters. Babies and young children commonly get miliaria because of their underdeveloped sweat glands.

A few weeks ago, I was ignorant of skin disease. Now, I am aware of what my mother went through both with her own affliction and what happened to me as a baby. As they say, it’s good to talk.

If you would like to talk, then contact us. For example, you can make a video, sharing how your skin condition has affected you; and for the camera shy maybe a voice note or written story. You can post directly on the Share Your Story page on this website. Alternatively, you can email your story or ask us to contact you.

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The prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of obesity, hypertension, or cancer. Despite skin being the largest organ of the human body, dermatological research remains one of the most under funded areas of medicine. In a world where society has an increasing preoccupation with image and it’s importance to every aspect of a person’s life, sufferers of skin diseases are feeling and being more marginalised and isolated than ever.

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