It’s National Eczema Week from the 15th - 23rd September. The aim is to raise awareness of the impact eczema has on the lives of those who have the condition.
For those of us who are fortunate enough not to suffer with eczema, we find it hard to imagine what it must be like to endure a continual irritation on your skin and the feeling of needing to scratch all the time, in addition to the major effect it would have on every aspect of our lives, from unhappy babies feeling so uncomfortable to the possible teasing of other children at school to feeling embarrassed in the workplace let alone social life.
It is estimated that 5 million people suffer with eczema in the UK. It has been known for years that allergies can run in families, if parents or grandparents have had allergies the likelihood of child or grandchild having allergies is increased. However, interestingly, in recently published research, doctors in Southampton General Hospital have found that allergies such as asthma and eczema are not simply hereditary but also gender-related. They found that the risk of eczema in boys was increased if their fathers suffered from the condition, while if their mothers suffered it doubled the risk in their daughters, but not sons. So, a child’s risk of developing eczema or asthma is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it.
However, this does not mean just because your parents or grandparents have had the problem that you just have to put up with it. There still is a Cause. It is not a permanent or irreversible condition.
Eczema is often due to an allergy to dust, house dust mites, pets or moulds. This is why when some patients go to the Mediterranean or into the mountains, where humidity is low, they see an improvement in their condition.
However, eczema is not always caused by aero-allergens. Some people find that by avoiding certain foods or food additives they see an improvement or clearance of their symptoms.
Chemicals such as cleaning materials, latex gloves, etc can also be a cause of contact eczema.
What we offer is the means to identify the triggers of the eczema by skin tests or dietary changes and eliminate or treat with desensitisation those causes.