Although atopic eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) affects 1 in 5 children in the UK and is on the increase, its impact is vastly misunderstood by the general public. Indeed, the reality for families living with the moderate to severe form of this chronic skin condition (about 20% of sufferers) is shaped by painful flares and constant itch, infections, time-consuming treatments, sleepless nights, days off school and work for parents, confidence issues and breakdowns. It can also lead to social isolation.
Eczema is associated with other atopic diseases, such as asthma, allergies and hay-fever, worsening the burden of the disease.
Studies show that “a fifth of children with eczema are bullied at school and 1 in 2 has low self-esteem; there is a sense of desperation and frustration in families with skin disease; 1 in 5 mothers feel like a failure due to eczema; sleep deprivation is linked to anxiety and increased risks of depression.”
Some people’s skin clears up over time naturally however there is no cure for eczema, which is why finding the right treatments and receiving support is crucial.