When did you first suffer with eczema?
I think it was in 2000 - my Mum has psoriasis and there is asthma etc. in the family, so it wasn't too much of a surprise. I was really worried it would turn into psoriasis though!
Where have you suffered with eczema?
On my face - mostly in the creases and it would often turn into pimples that wouldn't budge. The makeup artist on Brookside tried desperately to cover it up, but often that can make it worse.
Does anyone else in your family suffer?
No, just my Mum with psoriasis.
What treatments have you tried to manage your skin flare ups?
Aloe Vera juice - at first I was trying to deal with it all naturally, but eventually I ended up taking more drastic measures. Getting enough air on your skin is really important - don't be tempted to cover it up all the time.
What do you think your triggers are and how did you work them out?
I think stress is a major factor. When I first developed eczema in 2000 I was just leaving Brookside and my relationship at the time was ending. My life was changing dramatically, I was moving to London and my career was really just taking off - it was a lot to deal with.
Have you ever consulted an HCP about your skin flare ups?
Only a Harley Street doctor once I got desperate, I wish I had sought the advice of a normal GP or pharmacist initially.
What does it feel like to live with eczema and having a flare up?
As I do a lot of photoshoots and in the beginning was doing a lot of TV, it was quite difficult. I aim to not feel ashamed and you need to let your skin breathe. Be confident. Don't slap on makeup. I've learnt to live with it. I did a lot of work with the Eczema Society in the past and try to normalise the condition. Most importantly, try as much as possible to use gentle measures.
How has eczema affected your work?
It knocked my confidence since I got flare ups on my face and I'm in the spotlight a lot.
Did you experience a skin flare up whilst you were pregnant?
My skin was very dry when I was pregnant, I had dry patches everywhere. It's important to use SLS and parabens free products such as Cetraben.
How would you describe eczema in three words?
Sore, raw, breathe. You're not an alien - you're not alone.
What advice would you give to other sufferers of eczema and problematic skin?
Take a gentle measure - seek advice. Make it part of your daily skincare routine.
I love it when... My skin feels smooth and hydrated.
I can relax when... I have a nice hot bath with my little boy and have my favourite music playing.
When I have time I... Love taking off my makeup and get my comfy clothes on and have downtime with my son.
It makes me unhappy when... I see people treated unfairly.
How much sleep do you get?
Seven to eight hours.
Do you take any supplements?
Enzyme Q10 iron supplement, Vitamin C, fish oil multivitamin, (Solgar) Vitamin D.
How much exercise do you do? What do you do?
I exercise every day - I want to get my figure back after the birth of my baby. I do outdoors and indoors exercise.
What are your best and worst health habits?
I love food.
What do you do, just because you know it's good for you?
How often are you ill?
Have you ever had a health scare?
Generally quite healthy.
What foods do you always have in your fridge?
Spinach, chicken and fruit.
Are you a good cook and what's your favourite thing to cook?
Average cook - a roast dinner.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Haribo jellies and white chocolate.
Is there anything you refuse to eat?
What's your favourite tipple?
Nice glass of wine.
What can't you live without?
What or who is your biggest inspiration in life?
If you weren't in this career, is there anything else that you would like to try?
Special effects makeup artist.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I want to do a lot more radio and hopefully more TV. I want more stability - less travelling. Now I have my little boy, I want to spend a lot more time just in the one place.
To find out more about how you can manage your eczema or dry, problematic skin visit www.cetraben.co.uk
Tagged in Claire Sweeney