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New App Helps Patients and Their Parents Manage Their Eczema

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new app helps management of children's eczema MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

About 10 to 20 percent of children have atopic dermatitis, the most severe type of eczema, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The symptoms of eczema start during childhood.

The National Eczema Association stated that 65 percent of patients are diagnosed by 1 year of age and 90 percent of patients are diagnosed by 5 years of age.

A July 2012 survey by Mom Central Consulting found that among the 583 mothers they surveyed, only 24 percent felt that they were knowledgeable about eczema. About 33 percent did not know how to effectively treat the condition in their children.

In addition, the survey found that while 96 percent of mothers have discussed the condition with their child’s doctor, 40 percent were unsatisfied with the interaction.

To help increase awareness about eczema and communication between families and doctors, Bayer HealthCare launched a free app, the Eczema App. It's available at www.theeczemaapp.com/ the App Store and Google Play.

The app allows patients and their families to track flare-ups. They can store photos of affected areas, track them over time, and take notes.

In addition, the app contains information on eczema by age group (infant, toddler, kid, teen and adult) and news from the National Eczema Association www.nationaleczema.org/

EmpowHER talked to Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, and Colleen Padilla, a mother of two children with eczema, about the skin condition and how the Eczema App can help parents of children with eczema.


What are the symptoms of eczema?

Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield:

The symptoms of eczema are dry, itchy skin, with red, raised and sometimes oozing rashes. The itching can be a driver of scratching, worsening inflammation in the skin. Sleep can be disturbed due to the itching, causing a set of secondary issues, including tired families as well as tired children!


What do parents need to know about eczema?

Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield:

Eczema can be well controlled with excellent skin care, use of moisturizers regularly after bathing and regularly to dry skin areas, and the use of topical anti-inflammatory medications. Most children with eczema will outgrow it, but while active good care plans may be needed to minimize it causing significant problems.

Eczema can be associated with other allergic or “atopic” conditions, such as asthma, food allergy and hay fever.


What was it like when your children were diagnosed with eczema?

Colleen Padilla:

My son was first diagnosed with eczema at about 12 weeks old after going from mild patchy dry skin "normal eczema" you might except with a newborn to full blown head to toe raging eczema over his entire tiny body.

A diagnosis can be a relief as it gives an explanation, however in this case, I only felt more overwhelmed since my gut instinct told me there must be a trigger and I wasn't sure what it might be.

Food? Laundry detergent? Too much bath time? The bath products we were using?

I was relieved to know it wasn't something more serious, but I felt determined to find an answer to hopefully soothe my little newborn. Both his discomfort causing excess night waking and to ease the redness and irritation appearing ALL over his body. From his toes to his nose!


How can the Eczema App help mothers with children who have eczema?

Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield:

The Eczema App is a new application that can help families learn about eczema and assist them in managing a family member’s disease. The app is a simple-to-use, well-designed tool, that can assist with tracking eczema flares and the disease course.

This information is helpful for the patient, family and the doctor, allowing better communication about how active the eczema is, and how effective a care regimen is in minimizing eczema’s impact.

Colleen Padilla:

The Eczema App is really helpful for mothers with children with eczema as you can track flare ups of your child's condition — from mild flare ups, to specific body parts flaring and you can track this by day and leave notes.

The notes can be about your child's behavior, irritability or happy mood, related to their eczema, and more importantly what you child might have been exposed to that day (i.e. what your child ate, if they bathed, if it happened after using a certain laundry detergent or soap).

Over the course of a few weeks or sooner, you might notice eczema flare ups with a specific trigger. Eliminating a trigger can be half the battle and provide a quicker road to easing the severity of your child's eczema.

For my son Kyle, it turned out he was allergic to eggs and the eggs I was eating — and then giving him via my breast milk — were his gigantic trigger for more serious flare ups.


How can the Eczema App help with communication between mothers and their children’s doctors?

Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield:

For instance, if a child sees a physician and is given a plan of care and a prescription product, and is scheduled to see the doctor again in two or three months, much can happen during the time period. There could be several flares of disease, or no flares. The medical regimen may have worked right away to control the disease, or taken awhile to “kick in.”

The physician generally will see the state of the disease at the time of the next visit. But the Eczema app can help fill in the time points in between, to allow better discussions about how the eczema and the treatment are doing.


What advice would you give to other mothers with children who have eczema?

Colleen Padilla:

My advice for moms with children with eczema is to find a trigger to the eczema flare up. Often one exists, and if you can eliminate it or ease that trigger, the eczema will likely improve and be more manageable.

Think about what bath products you are using and how frequently you are bathing your baby too. Moisture is key and find out which lotions and creams work best for your baby. Everyone's skin is different and just like there are various triggers for children's eczema, each child might respond differently to various treatments.

Experiment and find out what works best for your baby. Hang in there and hopefully as your child gets older their eczema will improve and be more controllable. The doctors say this is true, and it really usually is. Until then, hang in there!


Interview with Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield. Email. 13 February 2013.

Interview with Colleen Padilla. Email. 13 February 2013.

National Eczema Association. Eczema Quick Fact Sheet. Web. 13 February 2013.

American Academy of Dermatology. Atopic Dermatitis: Who Gets and Causes. Web. 13 February 2013.

Mom Central. Moms and Eczema Survey Result. Web. 13 February 2013.

PR Newswire. New Survey Finds Moms are Under-Informed about Children’s Eczema and Seek New Digital Tools to Help Fill Void. Web. 13 February 2013.

Reviewed February 14, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I found this app on itunes that lets you find a pattern in y our eczema trigger. It's called Eczema Tracker. It also gives you pollen and humidity information and allows you to track and analyze your food, environment, and external triggers! Working really well for my daughter! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/eczema-tracker/id1080899152?mt=8


March 22, 2016 - 11:17am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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