Hi, I’m Jennifer. A clinical hypnotherapist who specialises in mental health and skin conditions. October is Eczema Awareness Month. The perfect time to discuss the lifelong chronic condition that myself and half my clients must live with. It’s important to raise awareness about eczema, as it can have a significant impact on people’s lives.
In this blog post, learn about the impact of this common skin condition, its causes, symptoms, and management strategies. Join us in raising awareness and finding relief for those affected by eczema.
Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is a chronic skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. It can appear on any part of the body at any age. Eczema can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, diet, allergens, and weather changes.
Eczema can have a major impact on people’s lives, both physically and emotionally. The constant itch, pain and discomfort can make it difficult to sleep and concentrate during the day. It makes it hard to carry out daily tasks like bathing, cooking, cleaning and even wearing clothes.
It can impact social life. People tend to stay indoors or cancel plans, either due to how their skin looks, or how uncomfortable they are physically. The appearance of eczema can cause isolation or low self-worth/esteem. Itching and skin picking can cause shame and embarrassment. This can increase feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and depression.
It’s also an expensive condition. The special products, clothing, bedding, prescriptions, diets and private medical appointments. It all creates an extra financial pressure. It can often require a multidisciplinary team of professionals. Such as: the GP, a dermatologist, an immunologist, naturopath, acupuncturist, beauty therapist, mental health therapist and dietician.
Eczema can cause worries over travel, exercise or trying anything new, whether it’s an activity or a food. It’s easy to get fixated on the skin, tracking every change and trying to find triggers. Eczema can make certain jobs difficult and restrict our career options.
It can affect relationships, because the partner may feel like a carer, and physical intimacy is affected. Families, friends, and coworkers have to accommodate for the individual’s symptoms.
The fear and panic of future flares, even when not flaring, can be strong. It’s exhausting, mentally and physically. 78% of eczema suffers said eczema harmed their mental health. A third of patients experienced depression. 23% of patients took more than 15 days off work due to their eczema. 50% of patients have to wait more than a year for treatment that made their eczema more manageable. (All stats from Allergy UK).
That’s why Eczema Awareness Month is so important. It provides an opportunity to educate people about the condition. It helps reduce stigma and increase support for those who are living with eczema.