23 Apr 2023
May is Eczema Awareness Month and this is a good opportunity for dermal health professionals to focus on evidence-based, maintenance of the skin barrier. The Eczema Association of Australia (https://www.eczema.org.auworks to raise awareness of the impact of eczema on those that experience this condition.
May is Eczema Awareness Month and this is a good opportunity for dermal health professionals to focus on evidence-based, maintenance of the skin barrier. The Eczema Association of Australia (https://www.eczema.org.au/) @eczemaau works to raise awareness of the impact of eczema on those that experience this condition.
A 2020 study found that among 2.1 million patients attending 494 general practices, 16% of patients were diagnosed with Eczema at some time in their lifetime. There was a slightly higher incidence in women (17%) than in men (15%). One in five patients was reported as having moderate to severe eczema. Eczema is also associated with co-morbidities including asthma, hayfever, food allergies, and mental health concerns including insomnia, anxiety, and depression (Chidwick et al, 2020)
Eczema has a significant impact on the quality of life as well as the financial burden for the individual and the health care system. Chidwick et al (2020) report the cost managing severe eczema in children costs $6000 per child, per year in direct medical and hospital costs, as well as time off work for caregivers. 51% of eczema sufferers self-report spending approximately $100 on prescriptions and $100 on OTC products to maintain their condition per quarter (EAA, 2020)
There are several grading systems for assessing and monitoring eczema severity. Including validated tools such as the SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) and the EASI (Eczema Area Severity Index). Patient-centered systems that may also be used clinically include, POEM (patient oriented eczema measure) and patient oriented PO- SCORAD.
Management of mild to moderate eczema mainly consists of skin care to preserve the skin barrier and avoid triggers. Referral to a medical practitioner is advised for any persons that have not had any improvement in symptoms after 2-3 weeks, if it is disrupting sleep, or there are any signs of skin infection.