Welcome to the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc’s website. We are a national non-profit charity organisation dedicated to eczema sufferers in Australia. We would like to reach all Australians who live with this debilitating disease every day and let them know that they can get help, support, education and relief.

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Stories about skin navigating eczema

Stories about skin navigating eczema

Stories About Skin is a powerful new podcast series from the Spot Diagnosis Podcast team that explores the human side of skin conditions, combining compelling personal stories from patients with up-to-date expert insights and information from clinicians.

The first 2-part episode focuses on eczema, a common and chronic skin disease affecting up to 30% of children and 10% of adults to varying degrees.

Annie, who has been suffering with eczema for many years and Jenny, the mother of seven-year-old Atticus, who has been contending with severe eczema since the age of one, both share reflections on their respective illness journeys.

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The Eczema Detective is a positive and fun story told through the voice of a 4 year old boy. With his buddy by his side, Levi discovers what triggers his eczema and what makes him feel good inside and out. There are interesting facts, practical eczema tips, and engaging activities for little ones aged 2 to 7 years.

About the author - This book was created by a Melbourne mum who needed a way to explain to her young son and his friends about his severe eczema. After thoughtfully creating this resource, Butterfly Publishing and the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc are proud to launch The Eczema Detective. We hope you and your child feel empowered as you make new discoveries about your childs eczema. Perfect for home, childcare and preschool.

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News

Wet wrapping

What Is Wet Wrapping?

Wet wrapping is a bandaging system used to control the symptoms of eczema that can help to reduce the amount of itching and aids sleep. Wet wraps should be used on red, dry and itchy skin but should never be used on infected skin. Wet wrap therapy needs to be supervised by their therapy or health professional.

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Topical Steroids and Eczema

What Are Topical Steroids?

‘Topical’ means applied directly to the skin. ‘Steroids’ are a group of natural hormones, produced in the body by a variety of different glands. They are also produced synthetically as medicines and given as injections and in tablet form. Topical steroids act on the skin to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing of the skin and can reduce infection. They also help to make the skin less red, hot, itchy and sore. They are not, however, a cure for eczema.

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Bleach Baths and Eczema

Bleach Baths and Eczema

Why do it? Many people carry bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus on their skin. This is particularly common in children and adults who suffer from eczema.

Eczema is an itchy skin condition, often worsened by a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus can contribute to the flaring of the eczema and to ongoing skin inflammation. Complete eradication of Staphylococcus aureus in patients with eczema is very difficult, however some therapies can reduce the number of organisms which live on the skin.

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Moisturisers and Eczema

Moisturisers and Eczema

Moisturisers help protect the outermost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum or skin barrier. People living with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders. A damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause eczema and other skin conditions to flare-up or get worse.

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Dry Skin and Eczema

Dry Skin and Eczema

This publication from Professor Irwin McLean’s group, shows that lack of the protein filaggrin in the skin caused an inherited dry skin condition known as ichthyosis vulgaris that is strongly linked to the development of atopic eczema. More studies have confirmed this finding and at least 20 loss-of-function mutations (changes in a gene that prevent it working properly) causing filaggrin deficiency have been discovered in many different racial groups. Filaggrin deficiency has also been linked to more severe atopic eczema and to its persistence into adult life.

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Adults who have eczema

Adults Who Have Eczema

One in eight children have eczema at one time or another as do one in twelve adults. Some of the latter are adults whose eczema has lingered on, while others will have eczema for the first time in adulthood. Some people will have had eczema for the first time as babies or young children and then experience several years of remission only to have the eczema re-appear suddenly and sometimes severely in their adult years. Since one of the homilies that seems to have attached itself to the condition is “you will grow out of it”, it is small wonder that adults with eczema become quite desperate.

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Teenage who have eczema

Teenagers Who Have Eczema

The teenage years can sometimes be the worst for people with eczema. This is not because the condition gets worse at this time: it can get better. As the skin gets greasier the eczema often improves and it is not uncommon for someone who has had eczema severely as a child to become much better at puberty while his non-eczematous friend discovers zits in a big way!

On the other hand, some people find that they have been free of eczema for a while only for it to come back in adolescence: others develop the condition for the first time during the teenage years. It is a very individual condition.

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Babies who have eczema

Babies Who Have Eczema

There are different skin disorders, some of which can start very early on in life, such as cradle cap. This thick scurfy scalp can appear soon after birth or when the baby is a few months old. It can develop suddenly. The scalp becomes coated with greasy yellow scales that stick to the head giving a crusty appearance. This scaliness can affect other parts of the baby’s face and head including the forehead, temples, eyebrows, behind the ears and in the neck folds. The skin underneath the scales may look sore, but it is not a condition that causes discomfort or itching.

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Infection and Eczema

Infection and Eczema

An explanation of the relationship between infection and eczema including causes and treatment. Skin affected by eczema tends to develop small cracks and fissures on the surface. This provides entry points for bacteria, which cause infection. Infection makes eczema worse and treatment more difficult. The skin can become more cracked which leads the way to further infection. Breaking this cycle of infection is the key to successful treatment. Both contact and atopic eczema may become infected in this way.

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Ear Eczema

Ear Eczema

Ear eczema can be an extremely irritating and, at times, painful condition. It can range from slight dryness of the pinna (the visible, projecting part of the ear) to extensive skin loss and soreness, as well as infection of the external and internal parts of the ear.

Eczema can affect the entire ear including the ear lobes, conchal bowl (the area outside the ear-hole), the ear opening (meatus), ear canal (also known as the external auditory canal – the part of the ear which leads to the ear drum) and the ear drum itself (also known as the tympanic membrane).

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Red Skin Syndrome is not eczema

Red Skin Syndrome Is NOT Eczema

I joined the Eczema Association of Australasia after becoming desperate for an end to my itchy, red skin. I was first diagnosed with eczema around the age of 20 and prescribed a mild steroid cream for the rash on my chest. The rash cleared and the unfinished tube of cream sat idle in my bathroom cupboard for years. In my late twenties and thirties, I occasionally developed a small patch of dry skin, which I sometimes treated with a topical steroid cream or with a non‐steroidal emollient. It wasn’t until my early forties that my skin rash become problematic.

Read more on Red Skin Syndrome

THE ECZEMA IMPACT REPORT (1994-2019)

The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA) collected responses for its Eczema Sufferer Survey over 25 years. The survey was conducted in pen and paper format and via online form.

Gender
  • Females 59%
  • Males 41%
Sufferer Age
0 - 1 Year
1 - 5 Years
5 - 18 Years
18 - 35 Years
35 - 60 Years
60+ Years
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25%
Age of Diagnosis

Eczema is most commonly diagnosed at or soon after birth; 53% of surveys indicated that the condition was diagnosed between the ages of 0 - 6 months. A further 11% were diagnosed before their first birthday, meaning just under two-thirds of all eczema suffers are diagnosed between birth and 1 year of age.

  • 0 - 6 Months 53%
  • 2+ Years 33%
  • 6 - 12 Months 11%
  • 12 - 24 Months 3%
Impact on Life

A little over half current sufferers said that eczema moderately affect their daily life. With only 19% claiming to have no affect.

  • Moderately 54%
  • Severely 27%
  • No Affect 19%
Eczema Triggers

Just over half of eczema sufferers (52%) must also be conscious of environmental and physical triggers that worsen their condition. Of those whose condition is triggered, the weather is the biggest issue for them (72% of those whose condition is triggered). After weather, the biggest triggers for many are stress (57% of respondents mentioned), food (51%), soap (48%) and grass (36%). It is clear by the fact that many respondents chose multiple triggers, that for each individual there are a number of things to be conscious of and avoid.

Weather
Stress
Food
Soap
Grass
Dust
Emotion
0% 15% 30% 45% 60% 75%
Severity of Condition

A little over half of current sufferers describe their Eczema condition as Chronic. With just 6% claiming their condition is Controllable.

  • Chronic 52%
  • Moderate 33%
  • Mild 21%
  • Seasonal 8%
  • Controllable 6%