Do skin diseases make kids self-conscious? How do teachers compensate?

By | May 23, 2008

In my class on Friday, I have a little student called Victor. He’s bright, talkative, and likes to learn English. But after talking to his mother recently, I realized that his skin allergies (I think he has exczma) really affect his mood. His skin condition stabilizes during the winter and summer months, but the climate is such that in Taiwan the humidity scale varies in more extreme ways: extreme enough to irritate his sensitive skin.

In winter when the rain is heavy, humidity indexes rise. Fall is fairly dry but temperature can vary a lot towards the end of Fall, and the early onset of Winter. Chinese New Year and mid-late spring can be VERY wet as well.

Some days, though he’s in a good mood, but other days he seems particularly volatile. I often wonder how other children who deal with skin diseases such as psoriasis which really requires a solid form of psoriasis treatment or skin rashes or various forms of dermatitis or infections really fare in our ultra-social, hyper-appearance-concerned worlds.

Do skin diseases (at least the visible ones) impact their self-confidence or social relationships? Are kids stigmatized because of these? I wonder… I have seen, though, how cruel kids can be when their classmates are different from them in some important respect…