Eczema: putting an end to received ideas

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Written by Doug Hampton

Intense itching, pain, stress, shame… More than 2.5 million French people of all ages are affected by eczema, a stigmatizing disease surrounded by a lot of received ideas.

A chronic skin disease, progressing in flare-ups, eczema is itchy, that is to say it causes intense itching. It is the redness, as well as the vesicles then the scabs that appear on very dry skin, that itch. It is this visible character that causes pathology to still drag prejudices behind it.

No lack of hygiene

So no, eczema is not contagious. It is an inflammatory and chronic skin disease due to skin abnormalities and environmental factors like allergens, irritants, friction…”The parents ofchildren with eczema know it better than anyone: children are mean to each other, but parents are just as bad“, deplores the French Association of eczema. “Some avoid you, tell their children to avoid yours, think of a lack of care or a lack of hygiene… Faced with such situations, it must be clearly stated that it iseczema and it’s not contagious, the treatment takes a few days to work, and flare-ups may come back more or less frequently.”

Another popular idea:it’s in your head“. Eczema is not a psychosomatic illness. But there is a but. In fact, emotions are not the cause of eczema. But they can, in a patient, be triggers for flare-ups. “An overflow of emotions can cause new inflammatory outbreaks, which again generate stress…“A vicious circle in short.

Eczema has nothing to do with food either and is not a digestive pathology. “The digestive, or food, theory of atopic dermatitis (another name for atopic eczema, editor’s note), seduced many doctors (and parents), particularly at the end of the 19th century, but also afterwards.“, continues the French Eczema Association. “It was thought, for example, that milk was the cause of eczema in children..”

A day to inform

Saturday June 3, the French Eczema Association is organizing the 9th National Eczema Day in Paris (Vincennes), Marseille, Annecy and Angers. The ambition of this day: to raise awareness of the reality of the disease in all its forms, to inform patients and health professionals (doctors, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) of advances in research, to share experiences, to give keys patients to understand and control the disease.

Among the highlights of the Day, Vincennes will host a major conference followed by three practical workshops (corrective make-up, nutrition, self-image and clothing) led by experts. In Marseille, Annecy and Angers, meetings and a great treasure hunt “Eczema Game” will be organized to (re)visit the city by taking up challenges…

Find the complete program on the website of the Association Française de l’Eczéma.

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