Karachi- November’s last week is being observed as International Awareness Week for Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema, a kind of skin disorder characterized as an inflammatory, relapsing, non-contagious and itchy skin disorder.
Dr Iqbal Nabi Soomro, Director Institute of Skin Diseases, Karachi said, “Eczema is a chronic condition and its chronicity is the major concern for patients. The most common symptoms of eczema are itching, redness, scaling, oozing and crusting.
“Several environmental factors can trigger symptoms such as food allergens, most frequently cow’s milk, hen’s egg and peanuts, pets, house dust, mites, and pollen,” he added.
He said that eczema affected 15-20% of children and 1-3% adults worldwide. Incidence has increased by 2- 3-fold during the past decades in industrialized countries.
Talking about general management of eczema, Dr Iqbal said, “Patients should identify and avoid aggravating factors. The outbreaks and the severity can be lessened by avoiding excessive bathing and all types of contact with irritants including common soap, detergent, shampoo and cleansing agents. Patients must use specific products recommended by their doctor,” he added.
Moreover, proper use of moisturizers can improve the skin barrier function of eczema patients. Similarly, seeking timely guidance from your health care provider will also help. Besides this, using appropriate protective measures including gloves, barrier creams are also helpful in controlling of eczema.
“Eczema is a skin disease that impacts the quality of life of patients more than many other diseases. There is an increased risk of depression, anxiety, ADHD, conduct disorder in children and adults suffering from atopic dermatitis,” he added.
“Unfortunately, we have no focus on patient education and proper counseling in the country at any platform. This week gives us an opportunity to increase awareness and stand by the people affected with this disease,” he concluded.