Atopic dermititis is the most casually taken illness and the non-sufferers might not fully understand the severity of this disease, and the mark it leaves on the personality of that individual who has to go through this ordeal his/her entire life.
Around 20% children and 3% adults worldwide go through this chronic illness at one point or another. Atopic dermititis is caused mainly because of immune system malfunction. As a result it leaves the skin itchy, blotchy, inflamed and scaly. Several studies have found that eczema can sometimes be associated with a worse quality of life than several other common chronic illnesses.
Eczema has a profound effect on the daily life of people suffering from it. As much as, that teenage or adults with severe symptoms might be ashamed to show their skin in public. They are intimidated that others might think it’s contagious and might bash them for being out and about in public places. Thus, making them feel isolated and not wanted. This ultimately leads to anxiety and may affect their relationships with parents, siblings, spouses and friends; making them a subject of stress and depression.
The worst thing about eczema is that it’s a vicious cycle; the more you itch, the worst it will get. As a result, it will not only affect your day to day activities but your sleep as well. The intense itch of eczema often prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep. Then that lack of sleep aggravates eczema symptoms, making it even more difficult to sleep and creating an irksome cycle of fatigue and tiredness.
In case of children, they might not understand their condition, and that why their skin has blisters and blotches, but the physical and mental strain they go through may be incomprehensible. Only the parents might know what their child goes through on daily basis. My husband and I are unfortunately among those with a 3 year old eczema prone kid. Apart from his continuous desire to itch, what I am beginning to notice is his irascible behavior; he gets fed up of everything very easily. His attention span is dropping, in between his activities his mind and body caves in to his desire to itch. Furthermore, he doesn’t know what a good night’s sleep is, as he can’t sleep more than couple of hours at a stretch because of the non stop tingling sensations all over his body.
As eczema damages the skin barrier, children can easily develop bacterial skin infections like staph infection among others. Apart from the skin condition the children with eczema may be at higher risk of developing variety of allergies. My son also has multiple food and environmental allergies that have to be managed.
Even though life with eczema is not very pleasant but still we should realize that our self-esteem doesn’t have to suffer just because we have to endure this dreadful skin condition, and neither does our social life.
We should try to involve ourselves and our children in such activities that would take our minds off the itch.
I’m not going to give the cliche advice of applying as much moisturizers as we can, because eczema warriors are well aware of that. But what we could do is inculcate healthy habits in our lives. We should eat healthy, more so, we should make exercising in fresh air a part of our routine. Try to lead a stress free life, without having to worry about what others might think.