New online programme aims to help parents manage their child’s eczema better

A new survey has revealed that nearly half of parents who have children suffering from eczema feel that they don’t get enough help from their doctors in managing the skin complaint.

It has now been announced that the NES, National Eczema Society have teamed up with E45 to launch a brand new online advice programme and three step treatment plan at www.eczemaadvice.co.uk to help parents better understand their children’s eczema.

There are current about 1 in 5 UK children suffering from Eczema and in 80% of cases the condition first appears before the child is 2. The most important treatments for the condition are emollients, which are used for washing, bathing and moisturising to help to soften and smooth the roughened skin to keep it both moist and supple.

The new research from the NES and E45 has revealed, however, that in practice, these treatments are not being used as effectively by parents as they should be.

Almost half (49 per cent) of mums only apply emollient creams and ointments to the affected areas of their child’s skin1, when medical guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that to get the best results from emollients treatments they should be applied to the whole body, even when their child’s skin appears clear of eczema.

The survey also highlighted that many parents could be hampering the effect of these treatments by the way they apply them , over one in two (53 per cent) ‘rub’ creams and ointments into their child’s skin1 which can actually make eczema worse by irritating the skin.

To overcome the common mistakes parents make when using emollients and to help them get the full benefits from these treatments the E45 3 step treatment plan has been developed in line with NICE and NES guidance;

Step 1: Apply emollient creams and ointments all over your child’s body 2-3 times a day

Step 2: Use gentle strokes in the direction of the hair growth when applying emollients

Step 3: Use soap substitutes and an emollient bath oil to cleanse your child’s skin

Margaret Cox, chief executive of the NES comments “Emollient’s can be very effective to keep eczema under control and in some cases can reduce the need for stronger treatments like steroid creams. The problem is, emollients MUST be used correctly and parents don’t always get the support and education they need to do this, meaning many parents don’t achieve the full benefits. The new 3 step treatment plan emphasises the 3 basic rules of using emollients, if parents strive to get these right, they should see an improvement in their child’s skin which will in turn help them feel much more in control of the condition.”

To help parents get the most from the 3 step treatment plan, E45 has also launched a free support programme www.eczemaadvice.co.uk . The new online resource is designed to educate parents on how to use emollient treatments correctly. It offers advice for parents as soon as their child is diagnosed with eczema, or, gives those struggling to manage their child’s condition the help they need to improve treatment outcomes.

The programme has already seen fantastic results with 9 out of 10 parents saying they feel more in control of their child’s eczema since starting the programme and 81 per cent recording improvement in their child’s eczema symptoms4.

Enrolment on to the programme is completely free and parents can benefit from telephone advice from a trained National Eczema Society nurse. The dedicated website gives parents the tools they need to monitor and check their child’s eczema symptoms along with easy access to advice leaflets, educational videos and testimonials. Additionally, parents can also seek help and support from other mums and dads faced with the same frustrations and problems in treating their child’s eczema through links to the NES Facebook page.