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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Sex and eczema... sexzema?

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Author Topic: Sex and eczema... sexzema?
Member # 7

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So I like this guy. He has pretty severe eczema on his face, neck, hands, arms, and I don't know where else. I've never asked him about it (don't know each other that well). He's confident and outgoing, so I don't think socially it bothers him that much. He's very active in student groups/politics. He seems very sweet and I like him a lot. (Case in point: today I saw him putting up posters for this university election. He asked me how I was doing and I said "Exhausted but good." I offered to help him rip tape for the posters and he said "Go home; you're tired!" Yes, that's right, he actually listened to what I had to say. You'd be amazed how rare that can be.)

So my question is, say I were to be lucky and catch his interest. What type of things would I need to know about having sex with someone with eczema? For example, I know some people with eczema have latex allergies and need to use polyurthane (sp?) condoms, and some lubricants can cause allergies too. But what other things do I need to know? Do I have to be extra gentle/careful with him? What would his skin feel like? I sort of have visions of skin from his neck, for instance, coming off into my mouth. Would he need to shower immediately after because of sweat or other body fluids?

Anyway, although I don't even know if I have a shot at this guy to begin with (hehe) any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Posts: 752 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I understand your question is innocent enough, but really, people whith eczema don't have an infectious disease or anything. I myself have eczema. It is simply a skin reaction, usually to do with allergies, but you can have it without them.

The skin of someone who has eczema doesn't peel off. It is often extremely dry and what is best described as "scaly". It ranges from just plain irritating to very drastic forms. The skin is often thicker, sometimes discolored slightly, etc.

But you don't need to treat this guy any different. People with eczema often has sensitive skin to begin with, but you wouldn't necessarily treat someone with just plain sensitive skin differently. While he may have allergies to latex, or certain lubricants may irritate his skin, he may have no reaction at all. And I don't think he would need to shower immediately after intercourse.

Really, he's just like any other guy. Since you are not in a relationship with him (yet), I'm not sure why you need to know this, or if it would affect your decision to date him.

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Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7

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Thank you for your help; I think you may have misunderstood, however. I'm not afraid of him hurting me in some way. I'm fully aware people with eczema are "safe." I just worry about being sensitive. For example, knowing that cologne would be a *bad* idea for a gift. Stuff like that. Would it be terrible if I scratched him?

I just want some insight, I guess, from anyone who might have dated someone with eczema, or had a friend who gave stories. Or, someone like you who does have eczema. This isn't the type of thing you can just look up. I tried google but nobody talks about it. I came here because you guys are the experts. (And no, it wouldn't affect my decision whether or not to date him; that actually offends me a bit because I already said I like him.)

Posts: 752 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I think it's hard sometimes when you've had a skin disorder, like eczema, that is so obvious. Most of us who have had it to any significant level have experienced some discrimination and teasing that tends to leave you a bit sensitive to the subject.

Eczema is a bit of a tricky condition to deal with. Mostly because there's not any one thing that sets off everyone. For example, I could always use perfume, but scented lotions are not something I can handle at all. So in terms of getting him something like cologne, you would want to ask him if he can wear fragranced things, or if there are certain scents that he's ok with.

In terms of touching him, avoiding scratching or lots of contact with areas that are obviously broken out is probably a good idea. That's not to say that you should avoid it like it were contagious, but scratching those areas could be painful for him. If you do touch his skin in areas that are broken out, it will likely feel like any other rough skin. Have you ever had a rash or really rough elbows or knees? It's generally something between the two of those. You will also want to make sure that your hands are relatively clean. Think about it as if you had a cut on your arm, you would not want to touch it with dirty hands -- and if he has severely broken out areas, especially if there are open lesions (that's what we technically would call them in a derm office, even if they aren't exactly what most people would think of as "lesions"), then it would be an area that might be more open to infection than other areas.

In terms of needing to shower after activity...that depends on him. It's likely that you would notice an increase in reddness in any broken out areas after sexual activity (or any physical activity, for that matter). It may or may not cause a bit of discomfort. A lot of your questions are ones that you would need to specifically pose to him because it really depends. Depending upon what is specifically related to his breakouts, how severe they are, and where he is broken out...that's really going to be the thing that affects what he can or cannot use in terms of products.

Again, it's not that you have to not touch him or be extra extra careful...but you would probably want to talk with him about it at some point (especially if you are thinking about purchasing a gift like cologne) if you do become close.

Sarah Liz
Scarleteen Sexpert

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7

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Thank you! This is what I needed. That's great advice.
Posts: 752 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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