Welcome to the studying and work section
This section will look at:
- Practical tips for managing your eczema at school, college, university, or work
- Managing eczema during exam time
- Careers and eczema
Many people can find it a difficult challenge to look after their eczema when they are at school, college, university, or work.
Eczema should not stop you from doing well and enjoying these areas of your life.
The next few pages will give you some tips on managing your eczema at school, college, university, and work.
Managing eczema at school, college, university, or work
We asked people with eczema for their tips for how to manage eczema at school, college, university, and work. Click on the boxes below to find out what they said.
Ali, School student
My school is really strict on leaving the classroom and I find it difficult to put my creams on in the toilets as lots of my eczema is on areas of my body that are under my clothes. So, I make sure I get up early to put on my creams before school and put them on again as soon as I get back home.
Emily, Works full time
I always have to plan when I put my creams on because I find it hard to write or use the computer straight after.
Alex, University student
The tubs that my moisturising creams come in are huge and look really medical. So, during the day, I take my creams in small tubes that can easily fit in my bag. The tubes just look like normal tubes of moisturisers, so people just think I’m putting on hand cream or body lotion.
Anika, School student
I put my moisturising creams on in the toilets during break times or between lessons. I also use them instead of soap, because the school soap always makes my eczema flare-up.
Mo, School student
I leave my creams in my school’s medical room and go there to put my creams on during the breaks.
You may find it helpful to talk to your teacher, lecturer, employer or human resources department about your eczema. This could help them understand how eczema affects you, when you need to use creams, and why you may need time off for doctor appointments.
For tips on how to deal with school, college, university and work stress, see the ‘stress and eczema’ section. You can get to this section by the ' living with eczema ' menu above.
There is also a section on ‘swimming and physical activity' for advice on how to deal with doing physical activity. You can get to this section by the ' what can make eczema worse ' menu above.
When I started work, I was a bit worried that my boss might think I was skiving if I had to leave the office to put on my creams. So, I made sure I told him about my eczema on my first day and he was completely fine with it.
Managing eczema during exam time
Many people find that their eczema gets worse during exam time. This is because stress can cause an eczema flare-up.
Here are some top tips for managing eczema during exam times:
- Be prepared – Start your revising early on and spread it out. This avoids any last-minute cramming, which can cause you more stress.
- Take time to ‘chill out’ – be sure to take time out of studying to relax. You may find it helpful to look at the ‘stress and eczema' section, which has different chill out techniques you can try.
- Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep – make sure you look after your body, as well as your mind, so you have lots of energy and feel your best! If you’re having trouble sleeping, have a look at the ‘sleep’ section, which you can get to from the 'living well with eczema' menu above.
- Tell your teacher or lecturer that you have eczema, so they can be understanding and helpful wherever needed. They could make sure you have everything you need in exams. Eczema should not stop you from doing your best.
- Wear loose cotton clothing during exams and ask to sit in an airy and cool area of the room – this stops you from getting too hot and sweaty, which can make your eczema worse.
Josef, College student
My advice would be to speak to your teachers or lecturers about getting extra time for exams and do this as soon as possible. For my last exams, I didn’t bother mentioning anything to my lecturers as my eczema was fine. But then, on the day, I had a really bad flare-up and it was then too late to ask for more time. I think it’s good to have the option there, just in case.
Jessica, School student
I have eczema on my hands and I find it hard to write for long periods of time. I spoke to my teacher about this and he organised for me to have extra time during exams. This give my hands a break from writing and means I have time to put on creams if my hands are getting dry and itchy.
Mia, University student
Months before my exams, I ask if I can use a computer to write during exams or I ask for a scribe who can do the writing for me.
Careers and eczema
You should never let eczema stop you from doing the jobs you want to do. But it’s worth bearing in mind that some jobs may make your eczema worse.
Jobs that involve lots of contact with water and chemicals may make eczema worse. Some people with eczema find it difficult to do jobs that involve a lot of handwashing. For example, hairdressing or working with food. Some jobs with patient contact, such as nursing, can also be difficult for people with bad eczema or hand eczema. In these jobs, you will need to find ways to protect your hands and skin.
Most employers are not allowed to treat you differently because you have eczema. They should allow you look after your eczema at work. But some employers, such as the armed forces, police and fire service, may not be able to take people with very bad eczema.
You may find it helpful to talk your options through with a careers advisor.