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National Eczema Week 2020

We are ‘Unmasking Eczema’ during National Eczema Week this year, from 12-19 September 2020.

Most people have heard about eczema, but few truly understand just how painful and difficult this complex long-term skin condition can be. It’s only if you, or someone in your family has eczema, that you truly know how it can impact every aspect of your life.

This is why, during National Eczema Week, we are unmasking the truth about eczema and releasing the findings of a major new survey* undertaken in collaboration with LEO Pharma. We asked adults with eczema and parents of children with eczema a range of questions, to better understand the day-to-day and longer-term impacts of living with the condition. Over 1000 people responded to this important new survey, which was conducted by the independent market research company Savanta ComRes.

Our charity has been supporting people with eczema for over 40 years, but even we were shocked by the survey findings that lay bare the devastating human cost of eczema. They show how eczema can profoundly affect your physical health, your mental health, your overall quality of life and even your life chances. These realities often remain hidden or are unspoken, but people are left suffering.

In the survey, 89% of adult respondents said that having eczema had significantly reduced their quality of life. Nearly half said eczema had affected their education and 28% reported it had had a negative impact on their career. Three-quarters of adults said eczema had negatively impacted their mental health, leaving them feeling depressed, anxious, helpless and socially isolated. The emotional challenges of eczema can be especially cruel, with 1 in 10 adult respondents saying a romantic relationship had ended because of their eczema.

A quarter of children with eczema were reported to have low self-esteem, with many parents saying that the condition affected their child’s ability to make and maintain friendships. Attendance and performance at school, feeling self-conscious, being bullied and not sleeping were other commonly cited concerns. This survey also highlights the wider impact of eczema on families, with a third having to regularly cancel family activities or trips because of their child’s eczema, while 1 in 5 parents felt it had damaged their relationship with their other children.

We asked people about their experience of healthcare and, while there were many positives, there were also worrying findings. Some 40% of adults and almost the same number of parents said they felt let down by their healthcare professionals when it comes to their eczema. This reflects the lack of effective treatments and complexity in treating eczema. Over half of adults and 40% of children had never been offered an emotional or psychological support service by an NHS doctor to help them cope with the mental health impact of their eczema.

Through sharing these findings, we want to empower people to talk about eczema, knowing that others are going through similar experiences, and to seek the care and support they need. We also want to improve public awareness of eczema’s gruelling impact on daily life and build greater understanding of the condition. The survey also provides a deeper understanding of eczema for healthcare professionals, so they can deliver more effective holistic care.

A full report on the survey is planned for publication in October 2020. We will post this on our website then.

Watch out for inspiring posts and video content on our social media channels during the week. Please share these and help us spread the word to Unmask Eczema!

For more information about the survey results, please email info@eczema.org

  • The Eczema Unmasked report is a collaboration between the National Eczema Society and LEO Pharma. LEO Pharma has provided core funding, editorial input and undertaken survey-based research to support the development of the report. The content was approved by National Eczema Society and reviewed by LEO Pharma to ensure compliance with the ABPI Code of Practice.