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The Wellness Show: Dr Dwayne Koot raises awareness about atopic eczema

todaySeptember 14, 2022 710

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On World Atopic Eczema Day, host of the Wellness Show, Megan Edwards speaks to pharmacologist and Sanofi Medical Advisor, Dr Dwayne Koot about the multi dimensional burdens associated with atopic eczema.

Atopic eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease and is one of the more common forms of eczema that can be particularly difficult to resolve.

The 2022 theme for the global campaign is #InsideAtopicEczema, and it looks at the five major burdens of the disease. This includes extreme physical pain and itch, burden on families and caregivers, burden on finances, burden on mental health, and burden of daily management.

Koot said there are multi dimensional burdens associated with atopic eczema and goes far beyond simply being a skin disease.

“If we look at the quality of life issues that go with the disease. Many of the signs and symptoms can be unbearable for patients and their caregivers,” he said.

Edwards shared that her nephew was born with eczema and she recalls how he struggled with his skin flaring up, particularly when he was young.

Koot said the disease affects 230 million people around the world. It’s a systemic disease that is driven by inflammation.

“It has a relapsing and remitting course, meaning the disease can flare up, often in response to an environmental trigger, and then the disease can go away for some time until the next flare up,” he said.

The visible lesions could also affect the confidence of people who struggle with the disease.

“There is a huge psychosocial element to it and an emotional burden. There might be a stigma attached with this disease, where onlookers might not understand what it is and fear that it’s contagious, or there’s a stigma attached to it as well.”

“It is our hope that through our partnership with The Allergy Foundation of South Africa and continued educational efforts, we can raise greater awareness of the burden of atopic eczema and the impact on daily quality of life as well as encourage appropriate steps to be taken towards getting the disease controlled at an individual patient level,” said Koot.

For those who suffer from atopic eczema or are caring for someone that does, join the Allergy Foundation South Africa and Sanofi on one of the following dates for an educational Facebook Livestream event where more insights on atopic eczema and practical advice/tips for how to live a better life with it will be shared.

Written by: Kelly-Jane Turner

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