Expert 'top tips' for management of childhood eczema

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- Expert Tips for Parents of Children With Eczema

Several leading European dermatologists have launched guidance to help parents reduce the burden of eczema on children living with this disease. Experts from Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and Spain have come together to agree a consensus of 'top tips', which focus on avoiding situations that trigger painful flares and different ways to increase eczema 'flare-free' periods. The 'top tips', sponsored by Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., are launched at the 10th European Society for Pediatric Dermatology Congress (ESPD), Switzerland.

Professor Frederic Cambazard, Head of the Dermatology Service at the Saint-Etienne University Hospital in Lyon, states that, "Parents can only help children with atopic dermatitis if they understand the disease and how to treat it. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic relapsing disease which needs parental education. In fact there are many false beliefs about eczema which can lead parents to sometimes manage their child's eczema in the wrong way, such as severe diet or insufficient washing. These ten tips will help to improve parents' knowledge on how to properly treat their child's eczema. They provide clear and simple behaviours which are important to help control eczema skin and will also increase the efficiency of specific medical treatments."

One in five children live with eczema and its prevalence has doubled in the past 30 years in industrialised societies. Parents regard the impact of eczema on their children's quality of life as being as profound as that arising from many other chronic debilitating diseases, such as psoriasis, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

The expert 'top tips' cover a range of practical day-to-day advice to manage childhood eczema, including steps to help prevent flare ups. These include:

- Getting the teacher on side: Telling a school or nursery teacher about your child's eczema and the steps you are taking to avoid flare ups. - Get your child involved: Sitting down as a family to make a chart of things you will all do every day, every week and every month to prevent flare ups. - Get the right treatment: Working closely with your child's doctor and nurses to monitor how effectively a treatment is working and ensure it is used correctly. Some treatments are designed to be used regularly to prevent flare ups from happening, while others are used for a shorter period of time to treat a flare up and help the skin to heal.

The UK National Eczema Society's Chief Executive, Margaret Cox, commented that, "Watching your child claw at their raw itching skin until it bleeds is devastating: you feel powerless and alone. For the millions of children who have eczema, it doesn't have to be like this. If you know how to use your treatments, the condition does usually improve. And by equipping parents with the knowledge they need to help to prevent their child's eczema flare ups, we can dramatically improve a family's quality of life. We welcome these simple but essential steps to help parents cope. It is vital that parents have the correct information about managing eczema in a readily understood format if we are to truly tackle the daily misery that eczema brings in its wake."

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