Eczema is causing for strain for women who suffer from the condition, as research highlights that three out of four women feel unattractive or embarrassed.
Half of those questioned admitted that they felt depressed by the skin condition and more than 60% feel self-conscious at work.
Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a common skin condition affecting 1 in 12 adults in the UK.
Of those women surveyed, one in six women experience a ‘flare-up’ five to eight times a year with a further 23% experiencing ‘flare- ups’ even more frequently. And the research found that everyday activities such as bathing children and doing the washing up can trigger an eczema flare up.
More than a quarter of the women interviewed reported that each episode or ‘flare-up’ may last several weeks. Eczema flare-ups can be extremely itchy, red and dry or weeping and swollen, so it is no wonder the skin condition can have a negative impact on daily life.
Given the negative impact eczema can have, it was surprising that the research revealed that only 1 in 5 women surveyed who currently use an emollient to help manage their eczema, are applying their emollient therapy the recommended three to four times per day, meaning that women with eczema may not be managing their condition as best they could and may be susceptible to more frequent flare-ups.
Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall comments: “The symptoms of eczema can have an impact on daily life, particularly when people experience painful flare-ups. It is important that people play a role in self-managing their condition by applying emollients regularly, even when the skin is clear of eczema. Having a conveniently sized range of products that offer heavier or lighter moisturisation as required, should help people suffering achieve greater control.”
The research, conducted by MSD (known as Merck in the United States and Canada), the manufacturer of the Diprobase range of emollients for dry skin conditions, also found that of the 172 women who admitted to using their emollient less than the recommended 3-4 times per day, 59% said the pot or pump was too big to carry around.In addition, some women may be missing their applications altogether as 1 in 10 surveyed admitted to not taking their emollient when travelling on holiday due it being too big, heavy or inconvenient to carry.
Advice from the National Eczema Society is to continue to use an emollient, even if the skin is clear of eczema, as this will help prevent flare-ups. It is therefore important that people living with eczema take control of their condition. Ensuring people have adequate access to their emollients, wherever and whenever they need them is important so they can better manage their condition.
This is especially important as we head into the warmer months as the survey revealed that 71% of women surveyed said they feel embarrassed to bare their skin in summer because of their eczema.