On January 26, the first Eczema Universities took place at the Musée des Moulages of the Hospital Saint Louis in Paris, organized by the French Eczema Association (AFE).
Sohnskin's team went there to learn more from health professionals and to exchange with people affected by the disease.
The day was organized around three major themes:
- living with atopic dermatitis
- the expectations of atopic patients in the management of the disease
- the expectations of atopic patients regarding dermocosmetics
For this purpose, the AFE has gathered numerous speakers who will speak on the different subjects according to their profession. Among them, we can count Pr Martine Bagot, Dr Marie Jachiet, Dr Estelle Charvet, Pr Jean-David Bouaziz and Dr Marc Perrussel, all dermatologists. Dr Marc Guerrier represented the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) as a medical advisor to the organization. Marjolaine Hering and Florence Dijon-Leandro, doctors of pharmacy, were also present, not forgetting, of course, Stéphanie Merhand, founder of the French Eczema Association.
Knowing and diagnosing atopic dermatitis
The day began with a quick overview of the disease and the basics of atopic dermatitis (AD), which encompasses many epidermal health problems and not just eczema in itself.
AD often appears before the age of 6, but the first step is to determine if there are any other underlying conditions, and that it is just AD. This could be psoriasis, scabies, contact eczema (allergic) or trichophyton fungi.
In our case, we focus on eczema once it has been diagnosed. Firstly, it is important to remember that even though it usually appears in the first 3 to 6 months of life, it can also occur much later, up to the age of 65 and more. Also, depending on the age of the affected patient, eczema will not always have the same form.
In infants, the eczema patches appear mainly on the convexities of the face, while in children, in addition to the face, it is also found on the popliteal area (hollow of the knee). In adults, these marks can be seen on the face, but also on the neck and around the neck, as well as on the hands.
Eczema is not just about patches: it is also about skin lesions, the possibility of viral or bacterial inflammations, which can lead to super infections with, for example, staphylococcus or herpes. It is an unpredictable disease that many people, including the medical profession, underestimate.
A chronic disease and psychological damage
We often talk about the physical aspect only, but we must not forget that people with this disease also have skin pain, which is often put aside. Many people do not consider eczema and more generally atopic dermatitis as a chronic disease, even though it is no less chronic than arthritis, asthma, or diabetes.
For the patient, there is then a notion of guilt but also of shame in addition to the embarrassment that it can represent in their daily life with in particular the glance of the others and the burden of the disease in everyday life.
In 2022, the barometer of the care path indicates that 16% of people with eczema are psychologically monitored and 75% say they are ready to start a follow-up. Also, 62% of patients would like to be better informed about their disease: being little recognized as chronic, there is a lack of information that affects both relatives and patients.
Numerous other figures illustrate this complex created by the way the disease is viewed, notably with 46% of affected children never talking about their disease. The fact that one in two children with eczema do not dare to talk about their disease, even with their parents, proves that eczema is not normalized in our society and that a taboo is created around the disease.
33% of patients still believe that eczema is contagious and 43% believe that it is hereditary. Again, this is a result of misinformation about eczema.
Note: Many dermatologists have stated that palpation, as part of the clinical examination, often reassures the patient. Touching the patches and lesions demonstrates that eczema is neither contagious nor repulsive.
Sohnskin was thrilled to attend this event and is always willing to surround itself with healthcare professionals to get the latest scientific updates about atopic dermatitis. Together, let's make research a priority to improve all these families' daily life.
Thank you French Eczema Association and Hospital Saint Louis for organizing that meeting.