“It’s a changeable journey and one minute you could be feeling like the Queen of England, the next you’re not. At the end of the day it’s all about self-love and care.”

A key challenge for people living with eczema is the effect it can have on your mental well-being. Anxiety and stress are common triggers that can cause eczema to flare-up, which often results in a vicious cycle where the flare-up itself subsequently causes more stress. Eczema can also impact other aspects of your life, from an inability to work, stigma from colleagues or at school, or simply a lack of understanding and support from your family and peers. All these factors can have a marked effect on your mental health.

Atopic dermatitis and
mental health1

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80%

of patients felt that their skin condition had a direct impact on their mood

57%

of patients admitted they felt depressed because of their skin condition


“She gets anxious; like if she’s walking round the shops she’ll get anxious because she’ll think somebody’s looking at her.”

- (Partner of atopic dermatitis patient),1

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60%

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55%

60% of male patients and 55% of female patients noted that their self-esteem and self-confidence was "frequently" or "very frequently" impacted due to their skin condition

Relax with music

Taking just a few minutes a day to focus on simple meditation may help to reduce any stress that you may be feeling. Listen to the mindfulness audio, and take a few minutes to focus on breathing and relaxation, before you carry on with the rest of your day.

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Mental health top tips

  1. Everybody is different, so find out what works for you.
  2. Write a list of your positive attributes; your skin doesn’t define who you are.
  3. Meditation, yoga or breathing exercises can help you rebalance your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Use your support networks – your friends and family are there to help and it’s harder to do this alone.
  5. Focus on having a positive mind-set and setting objectives to help you overcome your challenges, rather than becoming overwhelmed by them.
  6. Consider trying cognitive behavioural therapy – a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

Caregivers can need care too

Whilst it can be incredibly tough for your child living with atopic dermatitis (AD), it can also be a strain on the caregivers too, especially the long and interrupted night’s sleep when your child’s AD can seem particularly bad. A lack of sleep and challenges making plans that everyone in the family can enjoy may make it harder to maintain relationships and may lead to feelings of worry or hopelessness2. As a result of this, you the caregiver, may even experience higher-than-average levels of anxiety and depression2,3. Why not read our mental health top tips or follow the guided meditation below because it is fundamental that you look after yourself too.

Young adults mental health experiences

Three adults in their 20s, Amara, Aramide and Zainab, were interviewed to give their experiences of living with eczema.

That’s where life hacks comes in. We’ve compiled real life hacks from real people, which they use day to day to manage their AD, keeping the itching at bay and helping to interrupt the itch-scratch cycle.

References
  1. Sanofi Data on File. March 2018.
  2. Capozza K et al. Impact of Atopic Dermatitis and Chronic Hand Eczema on Quality of Life compared with other Chronic Diseases. Dermatitis. 2020; 31(3): 223-227.
  3. Manzoni APDS et al. Assessing depression and anxiety in the caregivers of paediatric patients with chronic skin disorders. An Bras Dermatol. 2013; 88(6): 894-899.
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