TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF! BACKGROUND, CAREER, BUSINESS?
Hi Minty Fam! My name is Chiquanna. I go by Chi for short! I'm originally from North Carolina. As a young girl I thought I was going to be a teacher with children, a huge house, all the things but life had a different plan for me. After graduating college I moved to LA to pursue a career as a professional dancer and since then have journeyed through life as a creative agent. I would say after the pandemic I began to take content creation more seriously, I wasn't able to dance. Lots of my jobs were off the table. I've had to pivot a lot in the past year although I'm still growing I really enjoy creating meaningful content and sharing my story with those who can relate! My personal instagram is @its_justchi and my skin page is @theitchychi
WHEN DID YOU START NOTICING YOU HAD SENSITIVE SKIN/ECZEMA?
I was born with Eczema and I don't know a life without it. It was very severe as a child and as an adult with self education-- I've learned to manage my symptoms. At 30, I finally feel in control of my Eczema :)
WHAT HAS HELPED YOU CALM A FLARE-UP? ANY PARTICULAR PRACTICE, MEDICATION, OINTMENT, CREAM?
When I have a flare it's usually due to stress, hormormones, or a change in my environment. I also deal with recurring flares a lot now. Having an awareness of my body and what's going on around me helps. I manage my flares through mindset and YOGA lots of yoga! Topical application is my last resort. I want to train my skin to learn how to moisturize on its own. I went through topical steroid withdrawal two years ago, I am definitely an advocate for using minimal topical application. With the combination of yoga, daily movement, calming my thoughts, avoiding certain foods in my diet and fasting from noon-8pm I've seen tremendous healing in my skin. I had to realize that there is no magic treatment or cream that's ever going to make my skin 100%. I've had to adapt to certain lifestyle changes in order to have a healthier mind, body and spirit. When I moisturize, my go to creams are Bodewell Supercream, Light Serum and Dirty Lamb Body Milk. Which are both natural/clean products-- I have discount codes for both (linked in Bio)!
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR TRIGGERS ARE?
Stress is the number 1 cause of my flares. The second is my period and hormonal changes. I have bad hormonal flares and I realized it a few months ago. Which is why having an awareness of your body and what's going on can help a ton. Personally, when overwhelmed I can see it through my skin. My body speaks to me --so I have made a habit of listening. When it comes to foods I try not to eat acidic food, sugar and incorporate as many veggies as possible. I've been vegan for seven years now but I still have to rearrange my diet often-- too much of anything is never good.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER ECZEMA WARRIOR?
Luckily this is a great time in life to have Eczema! I know it may sound weird but there are so many new developments and changes to Eczema treatment compared to when I was a child. It gives me so much hope for lessening our suffering! I advise anyone who has Eczema to take a closer look within. YOUR SKIN JOURNEY is so unique to you. What works for others may not work for you. Be open to different treatments, if your skin doesn't like it move onto the next! Examine how you can incorporate healthier changes to boost your immunity (like drinking more water, taking vitamins). Understand that healing is not an overnight process, the more information you know and understand about the body, the gut and how it all works can also help you figure out the next step for your journey! As a parent, EDUCATE as much as possible. Ask questions, don't just take the Dermatologist word for it -- I think we need to talk more about the importance of holistic care as well as science base medication. There should be a balance of both for anyone with a chronic illness! As a warrior, give yourself grace and time-- it will get better!!