Caring for a Child with Eczema: A Mother’s Journey and What Parents Need to Know
Caring for a child with atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common form of eczema, can be overwhelming, especially when you’re also dealing with work and taking care of the family. AD is a chronic, inflammatory disease with symptoms often appearing as a rash on the skin.1,2,3,4
Ashley Ellis is the mother of a 9-year old girl with severe AD. In addition to the physical toll that AD causes, Ashley has seen the impact a chronic disease can have on other aspects of her daughter’s life – and the whole family. Ashley is used to helping people regularly at work, but when it came to helping her own daughter with her skin disease, it was different.
Ashley is now working with the educational campaign called Understand AD, an awareness program supported by Sanofi and Regeneron in partnership with National Eczema Association, to share her experience caring for a child with AD and to provide perspective for other caregivers.
Understand AD includes a series of videos featuring dermatologist Dr. Mercedes E. Gonzalez, Ashley, and two people living with moderate-to-severe AD, who provide teen and adult perspectives. Each video focuses on a different topic of life with AD. Currently, the first four videos are available on UnderstandAD.com, and more will be added throughout the year.
Moderate-to-severe AD is characterized by intense, persistent itching, skin lesions and skin dryness, cracking, redness or darkness, crusting and oozing.5 Itch is one of the most burdensome symptoms for people with the disease and can be debilitating.6 In addition, rashes can potentially cover much of the body. 5 In the U.S., there are more than half a million people aged 6 years and older living with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.7
Ashley and Dr. Gonzalez joined me to discuss some of the common challenges many caregivers and patients with the disease may face, why it’s important to understand the issues surrounding moderate-to-severe AD and practical considerations for navigating it.
1Eichenfield et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. J American Acad Dermatol vol. 70, no. 2 pp. 340
2Guidelines for the treatment of atopic eczema. European Dermatology Forum. http://www.euroderm.org/edf/index.php/edfguidelines/category/5-guidelines-miscellaneous?download=36:guideline-treatment-of-atopic-eczema-atopicdermatitis. Accessed 2018.
3Gelmetti and Wolleberg, BJD 2014, Atopic dermatitis- all you can do from the outside. Page 19.
4National Institutes of Health (NIH). Handout on Health: Atopic Dermatitis (A type of eczema) 2013. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Atopic_Dermatitis/default.asp. Accessed October 31, 2016.
5Mount Sinai. Patient Care Atopic Dermatitis. Available at: http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/healthlibrary/diseases-and-conditions/atopic-dermatitis#risk. Accessed August 2017.
6Zuberbier T et al. Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol vol. 118, pp. 226-232, 2006.
7Data on file.