Wednesday 3 May, 6:00-7:00pm
Register for the webinar here.
This free webinar features two informative talks from dermatology experts at the forefront of eczema research and practice. We will explore the new systemic treatments for people with more severe eczema and how they work, including biologic and JAK-inhibitor medicines. We will also look at how research is helping us understand more about how systemic eczema treatments work, and highlight a new research study called BEACON. This study is looking to compare the effectiveness of different eczema treatments. National Eczema Society and St John’s Derm Academy are pleased to collaborate to bring you this free webinar. There will be time after the talks for you to ask questions of the speakers and panel.
The webinar will be livestreamed via Facebook and the recording will remain available to watch afterwards, but to be able to participate in the webinar, you would need to register and watch via Zoom.
6:00pm Welcome and overview of the evening
Professor Catherine Smith
6:05pm What are the new systemic treatments for severe eczema and how do we know how good they really are?
Dr Andrew Pink
6:25pm Understanding how systemic eczema treatments work
Dr Satveer Mahil
6:45pm Question and answer session with a panel including webinar speakers, plus Professor Catherine Smith and Andrew Proctor, Chief Executive of National Eczema Society. Participants are encouraged to ask questions on the topics being presented, as well as other areas of eczema care.
Webinar speakers and panel
Professor Catherine Smith
Consultant Dermatologist, St John’s Institute of Dermatology
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London
Professor Smith is Consultant Dermatologist and Professor of Dermatology and Therapeutics at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Kings College London and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital. She is lead clinician in national specialised services for adults with severe eczema. Her clinical and research interests focus on inflammatory skin disease and translational medicine, extending from biomarker discovery through to interventional studies (phase II-IV), and involve major national and international collaboration. These include BIOMAP, a European-wide consortium focussed on identifying clinically relevant biomarkers in atopic eczema and psoriasis https://biomap-imi.eu/ and BEACON – a UK wide platform trial of systemic interventions in adult eczema https://www.beacontrial.org/.
Dr Andrew Pink
Consultant Dermatologist and Director of Adult Clinical Trials Unit
St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, King’s College London
Dr Pink is a consultant dermatologist and the Director of the adult Clinical Trials Unit at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London, ex-Honorary Secretary of the St John’s Dermatological Society, a member of the International Psoriasis Council, Chair of the Annual UK Dermatology Course for Consultants and regularly acts as a NICE clinical expert. His clinical and academic interests focus on inflammatory skin disease and translational medicine, primarily in eczema and psoriasis. Andrew has helped to develop a national multi-disciplinary eczema service and a very active trials unit (phase II-IV) at St. John’s. He has acted as CI on multiple trials examining novel therapies emerging in psoriasis and eczema and is the Chief Investigator for the BEACON trial, a large UK platform trial designed to assess the comparative effectiveness of systemic therapies for moderate to severe eczema in adults.
Dr Satveer Mahil
St John’s Institute of Dermatology
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Mahil is a Consultant Dermatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. She qualified from Cambridge University and completed integrated academic training (NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship and NIHR Clinical Lectureship) in dermatology at St John’s. She completed a MRC-funded PhD in 2017, during which she used genetic information to gain novel insights into the mechanistic basis of different forms of psoriasis, and define new therapeutic targets.
Alongside her clinical and education work at St John’s, she continues to conduct translational research, which is focused on optimising outcomes for individuals with inflammatory skin diseases.
Chief Executive of National Eczema Society
Andrew joined National Eczema Society as Chief Executive in March 2018. He has worked in the voluntary sector for over 15 years, including spells with Asthma UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Action Medical Research. He believes passionately in people having the right information and advice to make informed choices about their health, and in supporting people to self-manage their health conditions effectively. Andrew has a particular interest in digital, which he sees as playing an increasingly important role in healthcare and in helping National Eczema Society reach more people affected by eczema. He is inspired by the Society’s many members, donors, partners and other stakeholders who work so hard to improve the quality of life for people with eczema.
You’re invited to a talk organised by the West Surrey and North East Hants Support Group of National Eczema Society at 2pm on Saturday 4 March. You’re welcome to attend in person or via Facebook livestream.
Join the West Surrey and North East Hants Support Group of National Eczema Society for an Information Afternoon, where Professor Sinéad Langan, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Wellcome Senior Clinical Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will be delivering a talk and answering questions. In a study examining the health records of more than 3 million adults, there is evidence of a strong link between atopic eczema and the risk of bone fractures and cardiovascular disease.
Attend in person at The Pavilion, Woodbridge Road, Guildford GU1 4RP
Or join via our Facebook livestream, here. You don’t need a Facebook account to watch the livestream.
Eczema is a common skin condition, affecting 1 in 5 children and up to 1 in 10 adults in the UK, and is becoming more common globally. Symptoms include intense itch, pain, sleeplessness and low self-esteem.
Entry is free but donations are very welcome. National Eczema Society literature will be available.
If you’ve got eczema, the festive season brings its challenges, but we’ve got some tips to help you have a relaxing time while looking after your skin. This article was published in Exchange 186, Winter 2022.
Trees, lights and decorations provide lovely Christmas cheer, but the dust they harbour can play havoc with eczema. Try to go for options that are smooth and easy to damp dust. If tree sap is a trigger for you, you might need an artificial tree.
2. Pace yourself
Christmas is a time when everything we learn about looking after ourselves during the rest of the year seems to go out of the window. Back-to-back nights out, long shopping trips, travel and family get-togethers can all take their toll. Have fun – but remember, sometimes less is more.
3. Be honest
Living well with eczema means making some adjustments in life. If something isn’t going to work for you – whether a get-together or an event – just explain clearly, but kindly. If someone gets it wrong, that’s not their fault, but don’t put your needs second.
4. Stay cool
Central heating and crowded rooms aren’t great for eczema. Plan ahead, dress accordingly, and step out for fresh air if you need to.
After a late night it’s easy to skip the emollient ‘just this once’. But hard-won routines can quickly unravel – especially as other daily routines melt away over the festive period. Staying on top of things is the best way to prevent a flare.
6. Overnight stays
It’s lovely visiting others at this special time of year, although this presents a host of challenges. You might need to bring your own bedding, damp dust the room and turn the temperature down. Plan ahead and have a chat with them about what you’ll need.
7. Having guests
Hosting is great fun, but can be a lot of pressure. If the thought of pulling off a large party sends your heart racing, try something smaller. When it comes to catering, find some shortcuts if you need to. If anyone judges, maybe they don’t deserve an invite!
For many, the party season is all about looking glam. But it’s not always easy to find make-up that works for you. Look for products with as few additives as possible and test them in advance. Remember, products labelled ‘natural’ may contain all sorts of nasties.
9. Food and drink
It’s hard to avoid eating and drinking differently at this time of year – even if you wanted to. But if you have eczema, what you put into your body will have some effect on your skin. Try to earmark some days for staying healthy. Your skin will thank you.
10. Dressing up
Skin prone to eczema likes natural fabrics that let your skin breathe, layered for comfort. So when it comes to getting out the glad rags, you might need to compromise. But there are plenty of options. For example, can you invest in one silk dress or shirt for special occasions?
11. Stock up on meds
The only thing worse than a last-minute scramble to a 24-hour chemist is running out of medicines altogether. Find out about closing times well in advance. If you need to order your prescriptions earlier than usual, leave time for your prescriber to sign this off.
12. A word about presents
If you have eczema, over the years you may have received a sizeable haul of useless toiletries. If someone always gives you these, why not explain your doctor has told you to avoid them. If they’re really stuck, you could always suggest a donation to NES! Point them to eczema.org/donate.
Mpox (previously known as Monkeypox) is a rare infection that appears on the skin as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs, which later fall off. The skin symptoms of mpox have the potential to be confused with infected eczema, particularly eczema herpeticum, which is a serious viral herpes infection. For more information on the other symptoms of mpox, which appear before the skin symptoms, please see the NHS website. For more information on eczema herpeticum, please see this page.
Children and adolescents with a history or presence of atopic eczema are at risk of more severe mpox. If you suspect that you or your child has mpox – or eczema herpeticum – please seek immediate same day medical advice.
Mpox vaccine (MVA-BN) and cautions for people with eczema
The vaccine recommended to protect against mpox is a third generation Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine, which was first developed in the 1950s for the prevention of smallpox. See the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) website for more information. For most people, the mpox vaccine has a favourable safety profile.
People with atopic eczema, though, may be more likely to experience certain side effects from the vaccine. These include more intense local skin reactions (such as the skin becoming red or darker than usual, depending on skin tone, swelling and itching) and other general symptoms (such as headache, muscle pain, feeling sick or tired), as well as a flare-up or worsening of their eczema. In rare cases, people with atopic eczema have experienced serious reactions to the vaccine with widespread infection of the skin.
National Eczema Society and the UKHSA recommend that people with atopic eczema seek a risk assessment before taking the vaccine in order to balance the risk from exposure to mpox and the risk of possible side effects from vaccination.
The MVA vaccine is currently being offered to people in the UK at high risk of exposure to mpox. Note there have been challenges reported in obtaining sufficient supplies of the vaccine (as of August 2022). The UKHSA recommends MVA is offered to:
- healthcare workers caring for patients with confirmed or suspected mpox
- men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men, and who have multiple partners, participate in group sex or attend sex on premises venues. Staff who work in these premises may also be eligible
- people who have been in close contact with someone who has mpox – ideally they should have the vaccine within 4 days of contact, but it can be given up to 14 days after.
- NHS webpage on mpox: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/
- National Eczema Society webpage describing eczema herpeticum: https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/living-with-eczema/skin-infections-and-eczema/
- UKHSA vaccination information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination-resources/monkeypox-waiting-for-your-vaccination
- UKHSA information on the smallpox (MVA) vaccination: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination-resources/protecting-you-from-monkeypox-information-on-the-smallpox-vaccination
- UKHSA recommendations for the use of pre and post exposure vaccination during a mpox incident: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/monkeypox-vaccination
Need advice on coping with one or more aspects of living with eczema? Have a rummage in our toolkit to find information on flare-ups, itch, sleep, relationships, parenting and more…
Whether you’ve had eczema all your life or you were recently diagnosed – or you have a baby, child or teen with eczema – it can be helpful to get to grips with or revisit the basics, to make sure you’re using your treatments in the most effective way and reducing exposure to triggers where possible.
To find out how to use eczema treatments, reduce exposure to common triggers and manage flare-ups, take a look at the following pages:
Factsheets (for factsheets on Emollients and Topical steroids, and common triggers in the home – Household irritants)
Eczema and relationships
If you or your partner has eczema, your relationship can come under pressure as a result. It’s important to be as open, honest and direct as possible, while staying sensitive to each other’s needs.
To give you more confidence in navigating the tricky realm of romantic relationships, please see our Relationships and eczema page.
Eczema and sleep disturbance
If you or your child has eczema, it’s likely that you or they will at some point have disturbed sleep. Waking in the night can lead to a relentless succession of broken nights over weeks or months, leaving you and your child exhausted and irritable.
To help you create the most eczema-friendly sleep environment and maximise your chances of a restful night, take a look at our Sleep and eczema page.
Eczema and school
Managing eczema at school can be daunting. The school environment has the potential to throw up many challenges: triggers, finding time and space to apply creams, self-consciousness and even bullying.
For tips on managing eczema in primary and secondary school, and on building relationships with teachers and other school staff, check out our Eczema and school page (aimed at parents/carers and school staff).
Eczema and mental health
Eczema can affect your mental and emotional wellbeing in a variety of ways. It might affect how you feel, or your mood. It might make you feel down or fed-up, and that might – but not necessarily – include depression. It can also lead to feeling stressed, worried or anxious, and impact upon your self-esteem and body image.
For advice on coping with the psychological aspects of eczema, please see our Mind-body connection page.
Eczema and stress
Stress is our natural response to feeling threatened or under pressure. Many people report that stress makes their eczema worse and increases the itch, and there may be both physical and psychological reasons for this.
For tips on managing stress, please check out our Stress and eczema page.
Information for parents/carers
Eczema affects 20% of children in the UK and around 1 in 20 have severe disease. Uncontrolled eczema has a huge impact on a child’s quality of life.
To help you support your baby, child or teenager with eczema, we have advice and resources on the following pages:
Need further information?
Please contact our Helpline by email at email@example.com, or call us on 0800 448 0818 (Monday to Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, apart from Bank Holidays).
National Eczema Society has heard from many parents via our Helpline who are worried about the impact of using hand sanitisers and increased hand-washing when their children go back to school. We have some tips for managing hand eczema in light of these precautions below, and an information sheet here, that you can print out and show the school.
- Parents/carers may need to discuss with the school before term or on the first day of term the importance of children being able to bring their own soap to school and double-washing (washing first with soap for 20 seconds and then with emollient). If your child has an Individual Health Care Plan for managing eczema in school, the hand-washing instructions should be amended.
- We advise that children bring their own soap to school, as soap from a dispenser could contain ingredients that are harsh on the skin. Brands of soap recommended by people with eczema on our social media channels included Dove, Faith in Nature and Simple. Olive oil soaps were also recommended.
- Children should bring emollient with them to school and apply it after washing their hands as well as at other times during the day. Provide your child with a travel-sized dispenser (available from bigger pharmacies and online), and decant their preferred emollient into it. They can keep this in their pocket for washing and moisturising at school.
- If your child’s hands start to get sore or cracked due to frequent hand-washing, ask the school if they can wear cotton gloves – remember to apply lots of emollient underneath the gloves and provide two pairs, which the child should change at lunchtime. We list suppliers of 100% cotton gloves in our Clothing stockist list.
- Do keep treating flares of hand eczema with prescribed topical steroids (which can be applied once a day at home, ideally before bed). If hands are sore from the school day, apply an ointment emollient before bed and wear cotton gloves overnight to re-hydrate and restore the skin, ready for school the next day.
If you encounter difficulties with the school, we have an information sheet here that you can print out to show the school. This describes the impact hand eczema can have on children, and explains how schools can support the medical needs of children with eczema, allowing them to fully participate in school life.