This week I'd like to talk about something that’s been getting under my skin recently – or more accurately – all over it. I get chronic eczema on my face and body which looks extremely red, painful and inflamed. Flare-ups can be caused by anything from an external irritant, crying too much (a common occurrence) or even an internal catalyst such as anxiety.

The most annoying thing about having stress-related eczema is it's a pretty self-sustaining cycle, which is nearly impossible to break without a month-long hiatus spent entirely submerged in a vat of emollient.

I get incredibly vibrant red rings around my eyes which form a superhero mask of irritation, something that's both incredibly painful, and not nearly as stylish as it sounds.

A survey from the National Eczema Foundation found that approximately 1 in 5 children who suffer from eczema experience bullying because of it, according to parents, which is even more shocking considering that 1 in 10 people will experience eczema throughout their lives.

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Eczema is most commonly experienced during childhood; around half of all diagnosed infants will outgrow their eczema, and I am simultaneously deeply happy for and extremely envious of those who did.

I make daily educational videos about the Scots language to post online, and there was a time when I'd utilise some of the handy dandy in-built filters that can smooth skin and cover irritation all in an instant.

There's nothing quite like pushing a button and having virtual eyeshadow magically appear on your face. With one click you've covered every problematic area, whilst miraculously saving yourself the trouble of taking antihistamines in order to sleep through the irritation often induced by the processes of application and removal.

I felt conflicted about using filters to hide my eczema, I strive to be as authentic as possible with people, and this felt almost like I was deceiving them in some way.

While there’s nothing wrong with using makeup, or even filters to achieve your desired look, it got to a point that I felt as though I was only doing it because I was utterly ashamed of the way my face looked while flaring up.

I love make up, it makes me happy and gives me a chance to expand my creativity and have fun. Having said that, it has also taken many years for me to accept that I don't need to wear it in order to do my job or move through the world with confidence.

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I'm the past when I showed my make up-free, inflamed face, people made awful comments, or edited my photos to mock me, and the whole experience left me feeling as though I should just hide myself from the world until I healed.

A few months ago I suffered a severe allergic reaction to an eczema relief cream (I know, the doctor laughed too), and the resulting flare up was too obvious even for filters, and too painful to cover with make up.

Inevitably, much like the rash making a voyage of irritation across my face, the negative and hurtful comments started spreading. I had planned to do voice-only videos for the duration of the flare, until I got a comment from a parent that just said, "I showed this to my daughter, she suffers with a similar kind of eczema around her eyes and it makes her not want to go to school".

I sat with that comment for a while, and considered how I felt as a child with very visible eczema. Family photos have been ruined by me wearing hoodies and sunglasses to cover up my face, and there were times when I was doing worse damage to the inflamed skin by covering it with heavy make up so as to avoid anyone noticing my face.

The influencers of my adolescence epitomised the early years of YouTube, when perfection seemed not just to be the standard, but the best way to become popular. Behind a beauty filter all skin looks smooth and flawless, the perfect canvas upon which to market make up, or skincare.

As an insecure, impressionable teen this propaganda worked like a charm on me, unsurprisingly. I dreamt of looking exactly like the people I watched, and wanted nothing more than to perfectly emulate those who seemingly didn't have to wake up early every morning and de-crust like a hormonal wee lizard.

Whether selling products, a way of life or a personal philosophy, influencers put their best face forward. The aforementioned filters can, and do, go virtually undetected and can vastly reduce the appearance of acne, eczema, or other visible skin issues.

While these filters can alleviate the stress of people making unwanted comments, it leads those watching to see perfection in place of the possible, flawlessness in place of feasibility.

To see those they look up to devoid of flaws, without insecurity or imperfection, can have an incredibly detrimental impact upon the mental health of impressionable teenagers. Worse still are the pervasive misconceptions related to skin issues that can lead to ignorant comments: reducing hormonal acne to poor hygiene, or chronic eczema to an inability to properly moisturise.

As a slightly less impressionable adult, my hunt for remedies and advice led me to an entire community of people who also live with eczema and other skin conditions, including those experiencing TSW (Topical Steroid Withdrawal), a charming complication of eczema that can occur when weaning yourself off potent steroid treatments, from which it can take years to recover.

Seeing people unashamed and open about their flare-ups, heavily symptomatic days, and the non-linear progress of having a chronic condition made me feel infinitely less alone.

The more that people, especially younger people, are able to see themselves reflected in the media they consume, the more emboldened they will become, not just to participate in the creation of media themselves but also to go through their lives feeling as though their experiences and struggles are valid. When I see creators who show their bad days, it reminds me that I am not alone in mine.

Sometimes the most profound impact comes not from putting on a brave face, but being comfortable exposing the vulnerability that lies beneath it.

It's extremely hard to love the skin you're in when that skin is cracking, bleeding and itching with the heat of a thousand grumpy suns, but the more visible we make a problem, the more we can work together to convert stigma into solidarity.