Eczema patients across Australia have shared photos and stories of what it’s like living with eczema, as part of an awareness campaign to mark World Atopic Eczema Day, this 14th September 2022.
The photo and stories submitted as part of the #InsideAtopicEczema campaign have been arranged into an emotional video released today. The video highlights the under-recognised burdens of the disease which affects 1-in-5 children and 1-in-10 adults.
Among the heartbreaking photos and experiences shared were several stories of babies and young children who struggle with the daily management and the financial burden of managing eczema. The toll it takes on the mental wellbeing in families was a common theme throughout many of the submissions.
One story was from Lea Baldoria, dedicated mum with three children living with severe eczema.
“It’s a daily struggle with having not just one but three of our kids, 20, 12 and 7 having eczema.
As most parents of kids with eczema, we’ve tried several treatments, steroids, bleach baths, wet wraps etc and the cost of medications, soaps, creams have been financially crippling. To see some relief on them, makes it worth the money. Unfortunately, it’s an ongoing battle, a daily battle of managing eczema and treating constant flares throughout.
We hope that there will be a more stable and effective treatment available for all our kids that will provide them with a more normal sense of wellbeing.”
Another heartbreaking submission from mum, Tara McKenzie describes:
“Atopic Eczema has had a massive impact on my 10-year-old sons’ entire life and our family, it’s been very frustrating as it has affected him not only physically due to persistent itching, infections and sleepless nights but also impacts other parts of his life such as education, hobbies and socializing which I find has taken a toll on mental health.”
Adults were also represented in submissions, many struggling to maintain a normal functioning daily life. Elizabeth Rogers is among the 1 in 10 adults in Australia who suffer the condition and bravely shared her story.
“Eczema impacts every aspect of your life. Sleep is disturbed from constant itching, it is financially crippling with steroid creams costing so much for so little; relationships are affected, something so simple such as holding hands can cause your fingers crack open and bleed – the list goes on.
“Eczema isn’t a disease that only effects the skin – your mind, body and soul also suffer.”
Melanie Funk, founder and managing director of Eczema Support Australia and leading the #InsideAtopicEczema awareness campaign has spent many hours of the last month, contacting patients who submitted their story to ensure they were connected to support and resources that can help their condition.
“Through campaigns like this, we raise awareness of the burdens eczema patients face every day,” states Ms Funk. “It also allows us to engage and connect patients to a supportive network to help them overcome these burdens and thrive in their communities.”
Watch the full video compilation of the #InsideAtopicEczema campaign submissions: World Atopic Eczema Day 2022.