The Male Experience of Eczema

The Male Experience of Eczema

The Male Experience of Eczema

Living with eczema can be challenging, and for men, it often comes with additional unique difficulties. From daily routines to mental health impacts, the generally accepted school of thought indicates that men may experience more severe symptoms and are less likely to seek help or discuss their condition openly.  

However, there’s not a huge amount of readily available research to support this. Tellingly in our recent customer survey only 8% of respondents were men. Of course, there could be a multitude of reasons for this, but certainly at Eczema Clothing we know this does not align with our customer base. On further investigation into eczema forums and groups, we found the demographics to be largely female or mum and baby focussed and wondered where, or if at all, men go to talk? 

It’s just not a bloke thing to do. You don’t talk about it you just deal with it and sort it out best you can. 

This was the response from Hitesh, one of our interviewees for this blog when asked if he ever spoke to anyone besides a medical professional about his eczema. Hitesh was not alone in this response, in fact when asked if they spoke or shared their experience about living with eczema or sensitive skin, the resounding answer from our male interviewees was no.

So, in the interest of balance and encouraging more conversation amongst sufferers we asked a few of our male customers from a range of ages and backgrounds to share their experiences of living with eczema...  


👨🏻Martin’s Itchy Skin Journey

Age: Late 40's

Tell us about yourself?
I was diagnosed with mild to severe eczema probably 30 to 40 years ago. As a child, I had eczema, asthma, and hay fever, which are the three common allergens. It went away in my teenage years and then came back with a vengeance when I was around 21. It affects your mental health as well as physical especially in terms of managing your skin and trying to prevent infections.

I've had all sorts of treatments over those years and I'm still with a dermatologist! About 20-25 years ago, a consultant at St. Thomas's recommended Eczema Clothing to me and the range of men’s Anti-Scratch PJ's, and that's how I first encountered Cotton Comfort. I've been a customer of ever since then. The cotton they use and the way their clothing is made so that seams are outside rather than being on the inside helps with itchiness and eliminates that scratchy cycle that you get into. It's helped at night because you're not wearing a fabric that traps the heat of your body and you aren't struggling with seams and ridges.

Can you share a little about what it’s like to live with eczema as a man?
For a level of eczema I have, it’s crucial to have a daily routine. And that means that twice a day, you're spending at least 30 minutes in the bathroom, showering, using some form of cream treatments. And then you're following that with lots of moisturiser or a mixture of a products. The products will say that they moisturize for 24 hours which isn't true for eczema prone skin because of the dryness and the flakiness. You also need to avoid alcohol because that heats you up. I've always modified my diet to towards the vegetarian diet. So, no red meat and very small amounts of other meats. And I think that one of the big factors is avoiding stress, which, in a normal working environment, is impossible (I worked in the NHS for years!). It does affect your mental health too. You don't want to go out and socialise because your skin looks red, raw, or flaky. You just don't really feel great about it.

How would you describe your skin? What words would you use?
Hot. It can be inflamed. It can be sore. It can be infected from time to time. 

Sometimes you wish you had someone else's skin. I'm sure everyone with eczema has felt this way at some point 

Can you share what's helped the most?
I've always worn cotton underwear and cotton shirts. Even from my earliest days my mum always insisted that I wore cotton and I always have done. I can't wear wool next to my skin or artificial, man-made fabrics. The biggest is good medical advice. So, seeing a good dermatologist ( that also means finding a dermatologist you're happy with). Finally having family support around you. It impacts your family, there's no doubt about that and people who suffer with eczema tend not to discuss it much, and I see a lot of people are left feeling a bit isolated. So, having supportive people around you really helps. I also belong to the National Eczema Society as they have a helpline that's very useful.


🧔🏻‍♂️Hitesh's Itchy Skin Story

Age: 40’s

Itchy Skin Story – Lived with itchy skin as a child.  

Can you talk us through what your day-to-day life looks like?   
My working week is pretty busy. I wake up early around 6:20 as I do the morning school run before I start at my desk at around 8:45. It can be quite challenging, especially as once the kids are back from school I make a concerted effort to help with them with their homework and spend some quality time with them.

What’s your male eczema and itchy skin story?
I started noticing my eczema when I was quite young, we’re talking 4 or 5 years old. It was mainly on my shins and ankles, a little on my chest and on the inside of my elbows.

There wasn’t really the access to online information that there is now, so my mum thought it was down to me not scrubbing well enough in the shower! 

So, I would scrub and scrub at my skin with soap and all sorts, so you can imagine how much worse that made it! I very much had a reactive approach. I would only deal with the problem once it had shown up. Now I am much more of aware of staying hydrated and moisturising with emollients and generally take a much more preventative approach. My eczema has eased now luckily, but If I didn’t make a concerted effort to look after my skin, I know that it would come back.

What did your skin look/feel like. Can you describe this to us?
Sore, red and patchy. It used to have sort of crusty parts to it too, but generally it was just really, really sore.  

How did it affect your daily life?
During my Teens I was quite self-conscious of my skin, especially towards the more visible parts around my shin/ankles. On holidays I wouldn’t wear shorts and would wear long trousers to cover the dark patches on my legs. These really bothered me. Especially as after scratching they would show up as a different shade to the rest of my skin. 

We know there is no cure for eczema but what treatments for male eczema did you find/do you find that have helped?  
Really just taking a preventative approach is what has helped me most, I make sure to shower with emollients etc. My eczema has eased now so it is easier to live with.


👨🏻‍🦰Peter's Itchy Skin Story - a father's perspective

Age: Early 50’s

Itchy Skin Story: Father to daughter (now grown up) who had severe eczema and life-threatening allergies

What did your day to day life look like back when your daughter had severe eczema?

It was very full on.  We had an intense bathing schedule that we would do 3 times a day and then afterwards there would be a whole routine of applying emollients and cream.  She used to look like Caspar the ghost, she was absolutely lathered in the stuff. Then we’d put her into her Cotton Comfort Scratch Mitten T PJ’s  at night and her little Mitten Shrug during the day.

 Have you ever had your own experience of itchy skin?
I had eczema as a small kid, mainly on the back of knees and elbows. I’m allergic to grass, trees, pollen, and pet dander and I remember having eczema in the summer months in particular. It never prevented me from doing anything. It came back a bit in my 20’s and 30’s - always on my feet. I remember just having very itchy feet and I linked it to sport and playing outside. I still get the occasional flare up, now I wear men's No Elastic Organic Cotton Socks or Roll Top Socks (great for getting rid of those annoying and irritating ankle indents!)

Can you describe what your daughters skin looked and felt like?
It was almost like carpet burns. It would weep a lot too. Weeping red skin. She was constantly trying to scratch it. When she was a baby, it was very difficult to put her down because she would want to scratch her cheeks with her hands or against something else.  Lots of kids have a bit of eczema behind their knee or on their ankles but Bonnie’s was really severe. We didn’t know anyone else who was experiencing it the same as us and that can be hard. 

How did this affect your day-to-day life?
 We’d have to think very carefully about what was in the house, how clean we kept it and what our daughter was eating. Her eczema turned out to be connected to her allergies, so this then made it very difficult to eat out. If you were driving, you couldn’t just pull into a service station. It also made it tricky asking friends or families to look after her because everyone was so scared of doing something wrong which meant that we never really got a break.

How did this impact as a man and a father?
I was really incredibly lucky to have Jo (my wife), it took more of a toll on her than on me. I was working extremely long hours out of the home and Jo, because of the sort of person she is, was the one who really took charge of finding a solution for Bonnie’s eczema. She got a diagnosis and got it under control within 6-12 months of Bonnie being born. But for those first 3 months we didn’t sleep.

Bonnie would be up all the time itching and crying, we didn’t know what was triggering it and it was torture. Honestly it was awful

I don’t know what I would have done if Jo hadn’t been so proactive and dedicated in finding a solution. She found the specialist who linked it to her allergies and found Cotton Comfort too which really helped with the scratching and the sleep. It would have been a lot tougher if Jo hadn’t been so determined to get to the bottom of it. If it had been down to me, I would have been like ‘oh just accept the doctor’s advice, we’ll just have to live with it,’ and that would have been absolutely miserable.

Did you find anything that helped?

We found Eczema Clothing and that the fact that organic cotton clothing was a helpful soothing solution so we stuck to that.

Our Daughter still has eczema now, but you wouldn’t know it, it has pretty much gone. We were always very matter of fact with Bonnie about her eczema. She would know that if she was going to a party, she would take her own food that she wouldn’t be able to have any of the birthday cake, so she’d go off with her own little Tupperware set.  Our daughter is very sanguine and confident about her skin. We tried to deal with her skin as it was and never spoke to her or felt like it was anything to be embarrassed or feel shameful about. Perhaps her confidence stems form that, I don’t know.


Living with itchy skin can feel lonely, isolating and stressful. Cheesy at it may sound, we really do believe that sharing our experiences makes us feel less alone and like someone just gets what you are going through. All of our experiences of itchy skin are unique and varying, and we are so grateful to our fantastic male interviewees who boldly opened up to us. We really hope their words provide you with some comfort, help you to feel a little less alone and more willing to talk. 

Eczema can affect men differently so sharing experiences and finding the right treatments, like the right men’s eczema skincare or men's specialized eczema clothing, can make a significant difference. We are always looking to hone and develop our range of organic cotton clothing solutions for itchy skin, and in particular would love to hear from our male customers about what products you would like to see or what could help you get comfier in your skin.

So, if you have any feedback, questions or queries, please do reach out to us on

If you need any further ideas for helpful products check out the links below..



👕Mitten T


👕Base layers

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