Isolation Survey Findings

For many, eczema is an isolating, stressful condition to live with. However by most it is regarded as a mild skin irritation where the skin becomes red and itchy. Eczema is widely considered more of an inconvenience than a life changing ailment.

The results of an international survey carried out in February this year revealed that 51% of patients and 65% of caregivers of children with eczema live in a constant state of concern over when they might experience their next flare up.

The survey known as the International Study of Life with Atopic Eczema (Isolate) included 2000 participants from 8 countries – US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Netherlands and Poland.

The National Eczema Association for Science and Education (NEASE) was one of the leading groups involved in the development implementation of the survey.

“Many people can’t realise the profound impact eczema can have on the lives of patients and, in the case of children, their caregivers, minimizing it as just a minor nuisance. This survey demonstrates the seriousness of the condition and the tremendous need for effective treatment options that patients can use safely to control their disease long term. It shows that atopic dermatitis/eczema is not a minor irritation but a serious physical and emotional burden to patients and their caregivers,” said Vicki Kalabokes, Chief Executive Officer of NEASE.

Education is important. Understand how eczema can affect you, and the risks of certain medications.

The survey showed that the majority of people surveyed (24% of patients and 27% of caregivers) felt inadequate in their ability to deal with an outbreak of eczema. Also 80% of patients and 73% of caregivers felt that being able to effectively control their eczema would be the single most improvement to their quality of life.

To feel confident in coping with the condition you must firstly be adequately educated. 64% of patients and 78% of caregivers felt that their physician had explained the condition and the availability of support groups. These people also said they would prefer to use non – steroidal treatment that would either prevent the flare-ups occurring or reduce their severity.

The survey showed that over ¼ of patients with atopic eczema experience bullying and adults frequently suffer discrimination at work.

Mel Sinclair, RN

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