Know more
about AD (Eczema)

We now know that atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common form of eczema, is a complex condition involving more than just the skin.

The immune system and genetic factors interact with environmental triggers, which means the cause is much deeper.

What are the symptoms of AD?

With AD, itching can be an ever-present symptom that can:

vary in intensity
vary in severity
trigger the vicious ‘itch- scratch cycle’

Visible symptoms, that may come and go, include:

• red and dry skin
• cracked skin
• flaking patches
• thickening and scaling
• bleeding and oozing

AD can also have significant on-going invisible impacts, including:

• anxiety
• depression
• insecurity
• lack of concentration

Starting a new conversation

Understanding your symptoms can help you communicate AD’s impact to your doctor.
Learn more about why you should start a new conversation.

Know more
about AD (Eczema)

It’s normal if you’ve learnt to adjust and cope with AD. But you shouldn’t have to, especially when options are available.


Common AD myths debunked

Atopic dermatitis (AD) and eczema are often used interchangeably but are not the same thing. Eczema, as a term, includes a variety of skin conditions that all display similar symptoms. AD, the most common form of eczema, is recognized as a chronic condition with a huge impact on quality of life. Other common forms of eczema include:
· Contact dermatitis - a localised skin reaction to an external irritant
· Dyshidrotic eczema - small, itchy blisters on the palms of hands, soles of feet and edges of the fingers and toes

You shouldn’t have to put up with the discomfort of atopic dermatitis (AD). There’s growing scientific evidence that the body’s immune system plays an important role in the condition. The medical community is catching up with this new thinking, as researchers understand the deeper causes of the condition. Additional management approaches are available. Re-engaging with your doctor or healthcare specialist could lead to the suggestion of different management options.

Contrary to common belief, using a moisturizer does not add any moisture to your skin. Moisturizers help protect the outermost layer of skin known as the skin barrier, and this allows your skin to retain its existing moisture.  Retaining your skin’s moisture is extremely important when you’re trying to manage your atopic dermatitis (AD). You may be prescribed a moisturizer by your healthcare provider, which you should use as instructed. However, if you are using an over-the-counter moisturizer, there are some important factors to consider:
· Ingredients – checking the ingredient list can help you work out if you are allergic to something that is exacerbating your flare-ups
· Fragrances – it is recommended to avoid moisturizers that contain fragrances or dyes, as these can irritate your skin
· Seal of approval – looking for seals of acceptance from <The National Eczema Association> will let you know whether a particular moisturizer is suitable for your skin*
· Patch testing – applying a small amount of the product to your wrist or elbow 48 hours before use, and watching out for any adverse reactions on that area of skin, is a good way of checking if the product is right for you

*Note: This sentence should be updated to reflect your local seals of approval.

Restricting your diet may not help your atopic dermatitis (AD). Often, AD flare-ups are mistakenly attributed to food. While food allergies may exist alongside your condition, you may not need to avoid any particular food group to effectively manage it. Ask your doctor whether they recommend any changes to your diet and follow their guidance.

While atopic dermatitis (AD) is commonly thought to be an allergic skin disease, there is no evidence that it is caused by allergies, and it’s not just allergies that can trigger flare-ups or symptoms. It’s now thought that AD is caused by activation of the immune system and damage to the skin barrier itself. Identifying and avoiding allergic triggers may help you manage your condition and reduce the number of flare-ups you have, but it won’t make it go away completely. If you’re not sure what is triggering your flare-ups, it’s worth talking to your doctor to see if there are any common factors.

Although making changes to your lifestyle could help to increase your comfort levels (e.g. the materials of the clothes you buy), the best way to manage your atopic dermatitis (AD) is to talk to your doctor about your options.
There are a variety of treatments that have become available for AD in the last few years. Treatments include moisturizers, prescription-strength topical treatments (e.g. topical corticosteroids), oral and injectable medications, and phototherapy.
Your doctor can best support you if they understand the unique impact the condition is having on your everyday life, your goals and your preferences.  They can then work with you to find a management plan that works for you.

Your itch is definitely not all in your mind. While it is recommended that you scratch as little as possible; it’s not as simple as mind over matter. Itches are extremely frustrating, and scratching is difficult to avoid. Itching can be caused by external or internal triggers; the brain interprets these signals as an itch and initiates a scratch response. Recent research suggests that itching is the result of a different message being sent to the brain than those that are sent in response to pain, meaning that your body’s response to these triggers is completely normal. If you are experiencing itching, it may be time to re-engage with your doctor, as this could be a sign that your disease is not under control.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is not caused by stress; however, the way the body responds to stress can trigger a flare-up or make your condition worse. This may create more emotional stress and difficulty which can worsen your condition. If you feel like your AD is worsening due to stress, it may be time to start a new conversation with your doctor.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) will not just go away by itself over time, and unfortunately, there is no cure to date. While it’s true that some children outgrow their AD, many struggle with the condition well into adulthood. The good news is that AD research is advancing and experts are finding that AD can now be managed through various different treatment options. AD can relapse in some people; if you are struggling with your condition, it may be time to re-engage with your doctor.

Whether you should or shouldn’t bathe every day with atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema, is an ongoing debate. Some dermatologists say that bathing too much dries out the skin, whereas others suggest bathing helps to hydrate the skin. If you do bathe every day, putting on <add local eczema approved seal here> moisturizer after bathing can help your skin stay hydrated for longer.
Ultimately, you should bathe however often is suitable for your skin. You may find that less frequent washes are better for you, or that bathing most days helps to keep your skin hydrated. Listening to your body helps you understand how your skin reacts to external triggers.

While topical steroids (creams) are a common treatment option for atopic dermatitis (AD), not all treatments for AD contain steroids. Other ways of treating or managing AD symptoms include antihistamines, light therapy, wet wraps and moisturising creams. More recently, there has been research into treatments that work by targeting a specific part of the immune system in order to reduce the inflammation seen in AD. To find out more about your treatment options, speak to your doctor.

Why should I have a new conversation?

Living with atopic dermatitis (AD) can impact many aspects of your daily life, but with new science and more management options than ever before, imagine what re-engaging with your doctor could do for you. Are you ready to make the call?

Take the first step towards a brand-new conversation with your doctor;
find out the impact AD has on your everyday life.