Eczema is something we’re all aware of but do we really know what it’s like to suffer from it?
With the skin condition plaguing the likes of Adele, Britney Spears and rumour has it, Kate Middleton, we thought we’d find out what it’s like to have eczema, in the run up to Eczema Awareness Week (17-25 September).
- There are 6 million people with eczema in the UK- one in five children and one in 12 adults have the condition
- Eczema is an incurable dry skin condition, which can vary in symptoms and severity from person to person. In mild cases of eczema, the skin is dry, scaly, red and itchy. In more severe cases there may be weeping, crusting and bleeding. Constant scratching causes the skin to split and bleed and also leaves it open to infection
- Your skin is made up of a thin outer layer, a fairly elastic one in the middle, and a fatty layer at the deepest level. Each layer contains skin cells, water and fats, all of which help maintain and protect the condition of the skin. If you have eczema, your skin may not produce as much fats and oils as other people’s, and will be less able to retain water. The protective barrier provided by your skin is therefore not as good as it should be. Gaps open up between the skin cells because they are not sufficiently plumped up with water
- Eczema is not contagious
- Atopic eczema can be hereditaryand people with the condition often experience one of the other “atopic” conditions like asthma or hayfever
- Eczema flare-ups can be caused by a number of different triggers, which can include stress, diet and a change in weather or temperature. It’s important for someone with eczema to identify their triggers and try and avoid them as much as possible
- People with eczema are at a high risk of developing psychological issues, including depression and anxiety. The visible nature of eczema can be very difficult for people who might feel insecure or frustrated because of their condition. Moreover, many people think eczema is ‘just a skin condition’ and don’t consider the emotional impact it can have
- There’s a range of different treatments available to help manage and treat eczema flare-ups, including emollients like Diprobase. Diprobase is a range of moisturisers that help to create a protective barrier on the skin and lock in moisture, allowing skin to stay hydrated and keep out irritants
For more information and advice on living with eczema visit http://www.eczema.org/