An influencer has called out a follower who made her feel "ashamed" and "embarrassed" after claiming her skin problems were weight-related.

Karina Irby is the designer of Moana Bikini and has more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram where she shares candid posts about her skin and body.

Irby has eczema, folliculitis and staphylococcus, frequently posting updates on the three conditions and what treatments she has tried.

But over the weekend she shared a message from a "Karen" who claimed her weight may be the reason for her skin problems.

Irby was floored by the message she received. Photo / Instagram
Irby was floored by the message she received. Photo / Instagram

In the message, which Irby shared in an Instagram post, the woman said she had "used to follow you but hadn't for a while" and had "just had a look back" at her profile.

"I'm not trying to be rude but I feel like all your skin issues etc may have started when you started putting on weight," the message read.

"Maybe try and lose some weight and see if it lessens a little bit for you? Can only try hun x."

In response a stunned Irby wrote back "wow", adding in the caption that she had been floored to receive such a message from a complete stranger.

"FYI Karen. I was born with these skin conditions," she wrote, adding that the message had helped "remind me why I enjoy exposing myself so comfortably".

"Because it's people like you that make people like us feel like they have to feel ashamed, embarrassed and cover ourselves up.

"I'm proud to say I'm strong enough now to say NO and kindly SHUT UP."

Irby's followers were also stunned by the message, with one person saying it was "so damn rude" and another commenting: "Who says these things to people?"


Others pointed out that weight had little to do with your skin, with one person joking: "Yeah. No skinny girls have problematic skin."

"I think everyone automatically assumes that weight loss is the answer for everything, and yes, weight loss has been proven to help with MANY conditions, HOWEVER there is a variety of reasons why one can be suffering from skin conditions. eczema is an auto-immune condition! It has nothing to do with weight!" another commented.

Bikini designer and influencer Karina Irby. Photo / Instagram
Bikini designer and influencer Karina Irby. Photo / Instagram

Back in June, Irby shared that her skin conditions had seen others run away from her "in fear my skin condition was contagious".

"Parents even told their children to stay away from me in school in fear their kids would catch my eczema," she wrote in an Instagram post.

"I wore pants all Summer. Rocked wetsuits instead of bikinis. I even wore jeans out to clubs when my skin was in bad condition."

Irby said that she would continue to speak about eczema in order to better educate others and reduce stigma.


"People are still so uneducated about this extremely common condition and assume it's contagious. If more people were open and educated about eczema when I was in school I doubt I would have been bullied as badly as I was."