Atopic eczema is one of the most prevalent skin diseases in the world and one of the most under-recognized. Atopic eczema is often dismissed as “just a skin condition,” and patients’ needs are not addressed in a supportive and timely manner.
The Atopic Eczema Community comes together on September 14th to raise awareness for the disease, to speak up about the burden it has on patients and caregivers and to recognize the need for care and treatment that is reflective of the multidimensional nature of the disease.
In the lead up to World Atopic Eczema Day 2022, we take a look Inside Atopic Eczema and explore five major burdens of the disease:
- Burden of Extreme Itch and Physical Pain: Itch is a misunderstood and underestimated burden of atopic eczema. Many patients describe itch as all-consuming and worse than pain. This itch is often accompanied by pain caused by scabbing and the open wounds from the uncontrollable scratching.
- Burden on Family and Caregivers: Parents of atopic eczema patients need to spend hours every day caring for their child’s skin; this takes focus way from other children. Time is lost to repeated doctor’s visits and spouses of patients are required to provide continuous support.
- Burden on Finances: Atopic eczema patients and caregivers see their family’s savings reduced to cover for cost of doctors, specialists, expensive prescribed or over-the-counter medications, and topical treatments. Patients can also experience a loss of wages due to their inability to work as a result of their condition.
- Burden on Mental Health: There is a high level of depression and frustration for patients with atopic eczema compared to other skin diseases. Patients are expected to perform at a regular level (at work, school and life) because they are experiencing ‘just eczema’.
- Burden of Daily Management: Topical treatments to help manage atopic eczema are burdensome and messy, as they need to be applied every day which takes a lot of time. Patients are careful of food choices to avoid flare ups, and lots of consideration on soaps, fabrics, sanitizers and sun exposure.
This year, to make the burdens of atopic eczema more visible, we are running a photo exhibition for our #InsideAtopicEczema campaign. Join us in turning our clothes inside out and submitting your photos or short video before 7 September to go in the draw to win 1 of 3 eczema care packs.
“Imagine having to wear pyjamas inside out because the labels and seams of clothes can irritate sensitive eczema prone skin. We are turning our clothes inside out for World Atopic Eczema Day to give a visible indication of how the burden of eczema impacts all aspects of life,” Melanie Funk, Managing Director, Eczema Support Australia.
Find out more about the #InsideAtopicEczema campaign and how to show your support here.