January 16, 2007
Eczema Study Reveals Severe Emotional Effects on School Children
The British Journal of Dermatology recently published a study that revealed school children are traumatized by eczema and other skin conditions. Although there are many treatments on the market, with new drugs being developed all the time, they only provide temporary relief of symptoms and even then, most are only recommended for adults. Meanwhile, the incidence of eczema in children continues to climb. Shielding lotion, a new eczema treatment that is safe for children and is now recommended by hundreds of dermatologists, may be the answer.
The study investigated the emotional effects of eczema on 379 children between the ages of 5 and 16. Researchers spoke with the children, their parents and caregivers. Results were compared with those obtained from interviews with parents of children with chronic diseases such as epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and kidney disease and revealed that, in terms of the emotional effect on children, there is virtually no difference between those conditions and eczema.
The study also found that, in addition to coping with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms of eczema, children are socially traumatized by the embarrassment of this sometimes unsightly skin condition and being made fun of by their peers.
As many of the drugs used for eczema treatment are not safe for children, the only recourse they usually have is moisturizers. However, moisturizers often have little or no effect on the symptoms and can exacerbate the condition. According to board certified dermatologist Dr. Lisa Benest, moisturizers send the wrong message to the skin. "Many traditional moisturizers restore the moisture to the skin on a temporary basis, but after continued use actually send a message back to the skin saying it doesn't need any further moisture to be produced by the skin, and so we can end up with the opposite condition where the skin is less hydrated than prior to using the moisturizers."
Dr. Benest, along with hundreds of other dermatologists, now recommends shielding lotion as eczema treatment. A good shielding lotion bonds with the outer layer of the skin to form a new protective layer that locks in natural moisture and keeps out the chemicals and other irritants that often cause the condition.
An earlier study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology also found evidence that supports the function of shielding lotion. The study revealed that a key factor in developing eczema is the structure of the skin barrier and the integrity of the cells' lipids and binders. Dr. John Sue from the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne Australia stated that researchers now believe that tiny cracks in the skin barrier predispose some people to eczema.
As shielding lotion bonds with the outer layer of the skin it may prevent the development of these tiny cracks and, therefore, eczema.
Dr. Benest is hopeful. "If we can increase the moisture in skin while decreasing the exposure to irritants or allergens then we can alleviate much of what we know as eczema." Shielding lotion is a major breakthrough in skin care technology, and may be the ultimate remedy to the physical and emotional effects suffered by children with eczema.