QV takes its name from its close association with Australia’s iconic Queen Victoria Hospital and was initially developed by chemist, Gerald Oppenheim and his wife, Rae.
After a request from the dermatology ward at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Gerald and Rae created a product that later became QV Bath Oil. Together they found a need for skin care products that are designed for sensitive skin.
QV products are Australian made, dermatologically tested and free from fragrance, soap and other common irritants. The range includes pH balanced washes and gentle moisturizers for sensitive skin on both the face and body.
The top selling product in Australia is QV Gentle Wash followed by QV Cream. There are multiple specialty product ranges that include QV Baby, QV Body, QV Face, QV Intensive and QV Dermcare, which is formulated to relieve the symptoms of mild to moderate eczema.
Ego Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, who manufacture QV products, have been proud EAA supporters for over 20 years.
A new biologic treatment for atopic eczema offers real hope to those living with more severe eczema
Dupilumab* (Dupixent®) is a new ‘biologic’ treatment for severe eczema which works in a different way to the other drugs that are currently available for eczema. Biologic drugs are produced by genetically modified organisms such as bacteria or cells cultured in a laboratory. Dupilumab is the first biologic treatment for atopic eczema and is taken subcutaneously (under the skin). There are other biologic treatments for atopic eczema that are currently undergoing research.
How does it work?
Chemical messengers in the body called interleukins (ILs) allow the different parts of our immune system to communicate and help fight off harmful viruses and bacteria. The immune system of people with inflammatory conditions like atopic eczema overreacts to allergens (eg dust, mould, pollen). This triggers the production of certain ILs, which cause greater inflammation. It is this chronic inflammation that leads to symptoms of eczema such as red, itchy, dry patches on the skin.
Biologics works by blocking ILs from binding to their cell receptors (protein molecules that receive chemical signals from outside a cell); this stops the immune system from overreacting. Dupilumab works on two specific ILs thought to contribute to atopic conditions: IL-4 and IL-13. By Blocking IL-4 and IL-13 from binding to their cell receptors, dupilumab limits to the overreaction of the immune system, dampening down the chronic inflammatory response and lessening the symptoms of atopic eczema.
If you think of a chemical messenger such as IL-4 as a key, and a cell receptor as lock, a biologic drug works in a similar way to fixing a coin over the keyhole so that the key (IL-4) is unable to get into the lock (the cell receptor).
Immunosuppressive drugs for eczema (eg ciclosporin) suppress many different chemical messengers that control inflammation, whereas biologic drugs suppress just one or two of these chemical messengers and have fewer potential side effects than conventional immunosuppressive drugs.
What has the research shown?
Clinical trials of dupilumab have shown that it produces a meaningful reduction in the severity of eczema, as well as a reduction in the body surface affected by eczema in the majority of patients. Many patients receiving dupliumab also experience a reduction in itching and an improvement in sleep and quality of life. The trial data results showed that many patients taking dupilumab no longer needed to apply as much topical steroid while taking the drug.
Who is it for?
Dupilumab is licensed for the treatment of children from 6 years of age and adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) who are possible candidates for systemic therapy who have failed to respond to optimally prescribed topical treatments.
How do I go about getting it?
If you think you might be eligible for dupilumab, speak to your Dermatologist or Immunologist about the possibility of trying it. It will not be offered by GP; you will need to be referred to see a specialist.
How is it administered?
Dupilumab is given by injection under the skin once every two weeks. A single syringe and needle delivers one dose. Unlike other drugs treatments for eczema, patients are able to administer dupilumab themselves after having received appropriate training from a healthcare professional.
How much does it cost?
This medicine is injected once every two weeks and is not intended for episodic use. With the PBS subsidy, eligible patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.
How long do you take it for?
Dupilumab is an ongoing treatment rather than a treatment that is used for a fixed amount of time. Patients would be expected to show a significant reduction in eczema symptoms and an improvement in quality of life after having taken dupilumab for 16 weeks; If the eczema has not responded adequately to dupilumab after 16 weeks, the treatment may be stopped.
Can people taking dupilumab still use topical steroids and emollients?
Yes, patients taking dupilumab will be expected to use topical steroids and emollients to manage their eczema alongside dupilumab.
What are the risk of dupilumab?
Dupixent is generally well tolerated and does not require regular blood tests. Common side effects of dupilumab include eye inflammation (especially conjunctivitis), headaches and cold sores. People who have asthma as well as eczema could experience a worsening of their asthma symptoms if they stop taking dupilumab. Very rare side effects include serum sickness-like reactions: fever, rash and joint pain and/or swelling. The safety profile of dupilumab is superior to that of immunosuppressive drugs.
Can children take dupilumab?
Dupilumab has been recently approved for children over the age of 6 years and has now been listed for their use on the PBS.
The information in this article was obtained from NICE and NES
This Information Sheet is provided as a service by the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc to give up-to-date, practical help on certain types of eczema or a particular aspect of its treatment. These Information Sheets are part of our membership package.
It is not the policy of the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc to recommend or endorse any product or treatment. It is part of the role of the Association to provide information on a wide range of products and treatments to keep those involved with eczema as fully informed as possible as to all options available. For medical advice, consult your health professional.
Recipient of the 2021 Eczema Association of Australasia Inc Funding Grant
“The grant aims to help better understand and address the needs of patients in Australia and the EAA’s hope for the future is that there will be better outcomes eczema patients. Offering a grant for research has been a goal for the EAA for many years and has been achieved with the help of their supporters – our thanks to them” – Cheryl Talent, EAA President
2021 is the first year that College has administered a grant on behalf of Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA) to support Fellows and Trainees undertake research into eczema and atopic dermatitis.
College received a total of seven high-quality applications for the grant covering a range of eczema and atopic dermatitis areas.
We are pleased to announce that Prof Pablo Fernández-Peñas, Head of Dermatology, Westmead Hospital, Joint Head/Speciality of Dermatology, The University of Sydney, has been awarded the grant for his project ‘Atopic dermatitis endotypes: Relationships and correlations of IgE serum levels and protein biomarkers’. Congratulations to Prof Fernández-Peñas and his team.
Treatment failures and partial responses in atopic eczema (AD) could be due to the intrinsic heterogeneity of the disease. IgE has been shown to play a role in the inflammatory process of atopic disorders however its role in atopic dermatitis is not yet fully understood. In this study we will look at the correlation between high and low IgE serum levels with the epidermal protein profile and related molecular pathways. We will collect non-invasive skin samples from normal-looking skin and serum samples from patients and analyse them using data independent acquisition mass spectrometry-based proteomics and bioinformatics analysis. Compared to other techniques available, proteomic analysis is safer, cheaper, and easier to perform. Our hypothesis is that this polygenic disease will have a different proteosome in the stratum corneum that will explain the immunologic reaction and IgE production. This study will increase our understanding of the AD spectrum and lead to new targeted approaches to improve AD management.
This grant was made possible by the support the EAA receives from their corporate members.
Grants, awards, fellowships and scholarships enable Fellows, trainees, researchers and medical students to be recognised and supported throughout Australia and abroad.
The EAA thanks the Australasian College of Dermatologists for and administering and overseeing this research grant
ATOPIC DERMATITIS (ECZEMA)
To be eligible for this study, participants need to be:
- 18-70 years of age
- Residing in Victoria
- Has mild to moderate eczema for at least 3 months
- Not pregnant
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested and would like to participate in this study, please contact our Clinical Trials Recruitment Specialist at email@example.com or phone 9013 0099 or go to https://www.skinhealthinstitute.org.au/page/312/now-recruiting
Do you suffer from severe Atopic Dermatitis?
If so, you may want to comment on Abrocitinib (CIBINQO®), a daily tablet for the treatment of severe atopic dermatitis.
The PBAC November Meeting Agenda is now available. Your comments are welcome whether you are a patient, carer, member of the public, health professional or member of a consumer interest group. The company applying for subsidy under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has already provided the PBAC with detailed clinical and economic data in support of the application. You are welcome to provide comments, for consideration by the PBAC, from a personal or group perspective on the impact of the condition addressed in the application.
To provide your input for the submission, please go to the PBAC online submission form on the PBAC website. When you have completed the form and pressed the SUBMIT button, your form will be sent electronically to the PBAC Secretariat and you will receive email confirmation of receipt which will include a copy of your comments.
Hurry, your opportunity to comment closes on 22 September 2021, so make sure you get in before then!
Allergy & Atopic Eczema Education Webinar
Please join us for a free, patient-focused, educational webinar on allergy, and the relation between eczema and allergy, including food allergies. The webinar is aimed at adults & children with atopic eczema and their parents and caregivers.
It will be presented by consultant immunologist/allergist, Dr Jason Fok at Eastern Health, Victoria. There will also be an opportunity to have your questions answered by dermatologist and eczema expert, A/Professor John Su.
DATE: Wednesday 22 September 2021
TIME: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM AEST
A/Professor John Su
Head, Department of Dermatology
Dr. Jason Fok
Please register at eventbrite using the link below:
6 Tips To Help Manage and Identify Eczema in Babies and Children
From Childs Farm and the EAA
Infantile eczema, it’s more common than you think! It occurs in around 20% of children under two years of age and usually starts in the first six months of life. To keep things as easy as possible, we’re sharing answers to some common questions on how to help manage babies with eczema.
How do I know if my baby has eczema?
Babies from 6-12 months usually experience eczema on their elbows or knees; places that are easy to scratch or rub as they’re crawling. Eczema can be identified as rashes and dryness found in the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, across the ankles and may also involve the face, ears and neck.
Whilst this form of eczema can improve with age, Childs Farm and the EAA have tips below on how you can help manage your little one’s eczema.
6 eczema management tips for little ones
- Distraction is key, especially when you’re trying to control children scratching their skin. Try putting their moisturiser in front of them and encourage them to rub it on or have a competition – you cream their skin while they cream a toy and see who finishes first!
- Keep children’s fingernails short to prevent scratching and breaking the skin. If possible, have them wear cotton mitts or gloves at night.
- Give children lukewarm baths and showers. Kids who are prone to eczema may still be able to enjoy a bubble bath – the Childs Farm bubble bath is suitable for skin that may be prone to eczema.
- Apply moisturiser within three minutes after bathing to ‘lock in’ the moisture.
- Avoid perfumed products unless they have been specifically tested as suitable for use on eczema prone skin, such as the Childs Farm range.
- Avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that raise a sweat.
One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is the quality of your baby’s skin care, which is why Childs Farm are offering you a 30% discount so you can try their whole range of multi award-winning baby toiletries. Childs Farm products have been specially formulated to be kind to new-born baby skin, including skin that’s dry, sensitive or even skin that may be prone to eczema. Head to www.childsfarm.com.au and use code EAA2021 to receive 30% off the entire range! Childs Farm always recommend to test the product in a small area, in accordance with the directions for use – See the Childs Farm website for details on patch testing.
All Childs Farm products undergo both clinical safety tests and independent user trials to make the following claims:
- Dermatologist approved
- Paediatrician approved
- Suitable for newborns
- Suitable for sensitive skin and suitable for people who may be prone to eczema
- Kind, mild and suitable for all skin types
It is not the policy of the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc to recommend or endorse any product or treatment.
It is part of the role of the Association to provide information on a wide range of products and treatments to keep those involved with eczema as fully informed as possible as to all options available. For medical advice, consult your health professional.
Dupixent® PBS listed for severe atopic dermatitis
First-in-class medicine subsidised for debilitating skin condition
Sydney – 27 February 2021 – Australians battling severe uncontrolled atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema and characterised by relentless itching and painful rashes, will now have an affordable new treatment option.1
From 1 March, a first-in-class biologic therapy known as Dupixent® (dupilumab) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the treatment of patients 12 years or older with severe atopic dermatitis, who have failed to respond to optimally prescribed topical treatments.1
Dermatologist, Associate Professor Peter Foley, Director of Research, Skin Health Institute, said, “Severe atopic dermatitis is more than just a skin condition. It affects every aspect of life, disrupting sleep, impacting work and relationships, and has been linked to an increased frequency of anxiety and depression.”
“Many people think of eczema as a relatively mild skin condition which resolves after the early years of life, but for some people it can be debilitating and lifelong,” he said.
In a recent Australian study, atopic dermatitis has been found to increase the risk of insomnia, anxiety, and depression by 79 per cent, 44 per cent and 41 per cent respectively,2 while another study found suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts by 44 per cent and 36 per cent more likely, respectively, compared to people without the condition.3
Approximately 100,000 Australians are living with severe atopic dermatitis4 and can experience flare-ups that are frequent, extensive and may require hospitalisation to prevent or treat severe skin infections.5
Professor Connie Katelaris, from the Department of Immunology and Allergy at Campbelltown Hospital said, “Until now, atopic dermatitis treatment has focused on reducing inflammation through a combination of intensive topical treatments and through broad based systemic therapies that may have widespread effects on the body.
“While this may be effective in some patients, many others struggle with uncontrolled disease and experience a constant battle to control symptoms because the underlying type 2 inflammation remains unchecked,” Professor Katelaris said.
“Dupixent is the first and only dual-acting targeted therapy that simultaneously inhibits two signaling proteins, IL-4 and IL-13, which are key culprits responsible for the type 2 inflammation that causes severe inflamed and itchy skin, often associated with atopic dermatitis,6” she said.
“This marks the first time that a biologic therapy has been subsidised through the PBS to treat atopic dermatitis.
“It also represents a new treatment era, as it is the first time a therapy has been available for severe atopic dermatitis that targets the underlying type 2 inflammation,” she said.
Type 2 inflammation is the common denominator behind a range of lifelong diseases, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and other allergic or atopic disorders which appear to be disparate conditions but occur when the immune system overreacts to an allergen or pathogen.
The medicine is injected once every two weeks and is not intended for episodic use.6 Without a subsidy, Dupixent will cost approximately $22,800 per year. With the PBS subsidy, eligible patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.
Sanofi Genzyme Australia and New Zealand General Manager, Fiona Clark said the company was committed to working with clinicians to help Australians affected by atopic dermatitis.
“I would like to acknowledge the many clinicians, patients and patient organisations who advocated for both greater understanding of the impacts of severe atopic dermatitis and access to new treatment options,” she said.
“Access to new treatments on the PBS is fundamental to Australia having the best health system in the world.
“We are pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with the Australian Government to list Dupixent on the PBS,” Ms Clark said.
Dupixent is generally well tolerated and does not require regular blood tests. In clinical trials the most common side effects included injection site reactions, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eye pruritus, and oral herpes.6
Care should be taken in patients with helminth (worm) infestation and in patients who have recently received certain types of vaccines (check with your Doctor). Patients
should be reminded to report any changes in their vision to their doctor. Use in pregnancy or breastfeeding needs to be discussed with the treating doctor.6
Australians with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who do not meet PBS criteria will continue to be able to access the medicine on private prescription.
Dupixent is jointly developed by Sanofi and Regeneron under a global collaboration agreement.
- Federal Health Minister’s announcement, 27 February 2021
- Chidwick K, et al. Prevalence, incidence and management of atopic dermatitis in Australian general practice using routinely collected data from MedicineInsight Australasian Journal of Dermatology 2020
- Sandhu, JK et al. Association Between Atopic Dermatitis and Suicidality: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis JAMA Dermatology 2019 155(2):178-187
- METIS Healthcare Research. Dupilumab Patient Tracker, prepared August 2019.
- Smith S, et al. Atopic dermatitis in adults: An Australian management consensus Australasian Journal of Dermatology 2020, 61, 23-32
- Dupixent TGA Approved Product Information 6 October 2020
© Sanofi Australia and New Zealand. Talavera Corporate Centre, Building D, 12-24 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113. MAT-AU-2100132.
First issued February 2021
Midwife Heroes Win $10,000 For Their Hospitals
Shea Caplice and Leeanne Pendleton have been named the winners of the WaterWipes inaugural Pure Foundation Fund – a new global bursary scheme designed to celebrate the incredible work of antenatal and neonatal Healthcare Professionals.
WaterWipes received hundreds of nominations in Australia and New Zealand and winners were selected by a panel of WaterWipes representatives and esteemed judges including Australia’s most recognised breastfeeding expert Pinky McKay, high-profile neonatologist Dr Howard Chilton and Paralympian and Order of Australia Medal recipient, Jessica Smith.
The Pure Foundation Fund was developed in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and how it has highlighted the importance of human connection. The Fund’s first campaign “These Are The Hands” was designed to invite both new and expectant parents and other Healthcare Professionals to nominate a Healthcare Professional who had provided exceptional support, compassion and care for their patients or contributed to advancing maternity or neonatal care.
Shea Caplice, a Clinical Midwife Consultant at Malabar Midwives in Sydney’s Randwick, received $5,000 for her department in recognition of the team’s amazing work in culturally-sensitive Indigenous maternal and infant care. These are the hands that remove the barrier of health access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and go above and beyond to provide outstanding care.
“Historically, the absence of care that recognised the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples contributed to a lack of engagement with antenatal services and subsequently compromised health care during pregnancy, birth and postnatally,” said Shea Caplice.
“The Malabar Service recognises there is a range of social determinants of health that impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families that can contribute to poor health outcomes. Our program addresses these issues at a grass roots level by offering a one-stop-shop midwifery service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”
Leeanne Pendleton, a Midwife from Midwifery Group Practice in Alice Springs, has also been awarded $5,000 for her department to continue to improve their care of parents and babies. Leeanne was nominated by Bree Irvin as she completely transformed Bree’s view on pregnancy and birth, and went to extreme lengths to allow Bree to have the birth she desired, despite being in the midst of a pandemic.
“As COVID-19 restrictions hit, my partner couldn’t come to the appointments at the clinic anymore, so Leeanne offered to come to our home for the check-ups instead. As a family we looked forward to these appointments and Leeanne was quickly becoming a life-long friend,” said Bree Irvin.
Bree describes Leeanne’s care as exceptional because it empowered her to feel confident and informed in her own decisions and enabled a natural birth that Bree never thought she could have.
“I never ever thought I’d be able to experience a home birth, but due to Leeanne’s extensive knowledge, support and guidance I will be forever grateful for the calm and natural birth of my daughter, Rose. This was a birth I could truly be proud of. Leeanne had believed in me from the start and through her knowledge and experience I have had such a beautiful birth experience. I never knew how much this would develop my confidence as a woman and mother.”
According to WaterWipes, The Pure Foundation Fund puts faces and names to the hands that touch the lives of expectant and new parents, both physically and emotionally, yet so often remain anonymous. A whole host of Healthcare Professionals are involved in the pregnancy, birth and post-natal journey; including midwives, doctors, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists, obstetricians, neonatal professionals and health visitors.
Andrea Hawes, Marketing Manager of WaterWipes Australasia, said; “The COVID-19 pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the dedication of our healthcare heroes who have gone above and beyond, and we received so many remarkable entries. Stories of those nominated highlighted pure human goodness at its best, with each nomination demonstrating the amount of empathy, creativity, and willingness to do anything for their patient that our Healthcare Professionals attain. Each and every one of the incredible Healthcare Professionals featured in these nominations deserves to be celebrated.”
If you are a Healthcare Professional and would like to find out more about WaterWipes, please visit
About the WaterWipes Pure Foundation Fund
WaterWipes, the word’s purest baby wipes, launched the Pure Foundation Fund in 2020 to celebrate and recognise the incredible work of all the Healthcare Professionals involved maternity and neonatal care.
WaterWipes encouraged both Healthcare Professionals and expectant and new parents to nominate individuals specifically involved in neonatal and maternity care, who had gone above and beyond to make a difference to the lives of parents and babies. We had a significant number of entries detailing the remarkable work of many healthcare professionals. A panel of WaterWipes representatives and judges reviewed the entries and selected the winners.
WaterWipes, the world’s purest baby wipes, are a pure baby wipe that contains minimal ingredients. They have been specifically developed to be purer than cotton wool and water while offering the convenience of a wipe. Containing 99.9% high purity water and a drop of fruit extract, they provide safe cleansing for the most delicate newborn skin and are so gentle they can also be used on premature babies. www.waterwipes.com/au/en
Award winning communication partners ‘Elevate’ the EAA message
The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA) is proud to partner with an award-winning strategic communication agency that grows and protects brands. Elevate Communication has been awarded Australia’s best Small PR of the Year since 2017 and was awarded Silver Team of the Year at the 2020 Public Relations Institute of Australia, Gold Target Awards.
We’ve been working with the Elevate team since 2017 and Elevate’s Managing Director, Mel Deacon is also part of our Committee. Mel and the Elevate team are instrumental in our business growth, ensuring we meet our goals and objectives while also positioning the EAA as the leading authority on eczema information and support for sufferers, carers and healthcare professionals.
Elevate successfully execute our Eczema Awareness Month, Week and Day activations each year, helping to continually pivot and come up with new ideas and ways to reach our members, corporate partners and the wider community specifically during the pandemic – a time in which all events were cancelled.
The EAA and Elevate are also working together to generate greater acceptance of our corporate sponsorship so we can continue to support people with eczema and their families. Our corporate membership has been carefully curated to align our vision with our corporate members, and we have built an exclusive and carefully selected group of partners which Elevate has helped grow to over 50 corporate partners across Australia and New Zealand.
Elevate continues to play an integral part in the EAA’s success year-on-year. As a small not-for-profit championing a challenging cause, we understand the time it takes to achieve results and the importance of quality over quantity.
We are thrilled to be working with such a great team and are excited to see what EAA’s future looks like with Elevate in our corner.
Keep an eye out for some amazing things to come from EAA. If you are looking for a communications agency, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07 3180 3666.