Eczema awareness week highlights silent suffering of 1 in 5 kids

To mark Eczema Awareness Week (starting 12th September 2016) the Irish Skin Foundation, will host a week long programme of events to raise awareness for the chronic skin condition that affects 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults in Ireland.

A free public event ‘Eczema Expert: Advice for Life’ will take place in the Red Cow Moran Hotel on Saturday 17th September 2016 to give people advice on how to live a comfortable life with eczema. The Irish Skin Foundation will also unveil a new website and a new booklet about how to manage eczema.

During Eczema Awareness Week 2016, the Irish Skin Foundation and La Roche-Posay are raising awareness of the silent suffering and psychological effects that this chronic childhood, and often adulthood, skin condition can have on sufferers and their families.

A leading consultant dermatologist with the Mater Hospital, Dr Niki Ralph, has advised that many people assume eczema can’t be treated and struggle through years of hardship when there are many ways to ease the effects of this condition. She also highlighted the deep rooted psychological impacts this condition can have.

Dr. Ralph, who is also a dermatologist for consumer skincare brand La Roche-Posay, said:

“Many patients present at my clinic distraught from coping with the physical effects of eczema but also the often hidden psychological impacts. This ranges from teenagers uncomfortable under the glare of strangers staring at their flaky hands or cracked skin, to families who have young children who are in such pain or itchy discomfort that their sleep is interrupted.

Cases like this are difficult as it can result in a tired or worn out child the next day whose concentration in school is impacted, or a tried and anxious household dealing with the effects of sleepless nights. Regular emollient therapy, essentially the use of specially formulated moisturisers, is the cornerstone of treatment for eczema.”

David McMahon, head of advocacy for the Irish Skin Foundation, said:

“There are already hundreds of websites and blogs about eczema. But there’s also quite a lot of misinformation and confusion about triggers and treatment. The Irish Skin Foundation’s “What you need to know about eczema” booklet, our helpline, and website offer reliable guidance to anyone struggling to manage eczema.

Our aim is to ensure people have the right information and supports to live a full life as free from itchy and painful symptoms as possible. We are proud to launch our new website and information booklet for Eczema Awareness Week, supported by La Roche-Posay, and we are urging anyone who wants advice on eczema or atopic dermatitis to come along to our free ‘Eczema Expert: Advice for Life’ on Saturday 17th September.”