Living with Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is often seen as ‘just’ a skin disease, yet it can impact the lives of those affected in many ways.1 Understanding the physical and psychological impact can help manage the condition.
The effects of atopic dermatitis can impact many areas of life. From the unpredictability of flare-ups to disrupted sleep and feelings of self-consciousness, not surprisingly, people with atopic dermatitis are more likely to struggle with negative emotions.2,3
Often, atopic dermatitis requires daily attention to keep the itching and rash under control.5 Steroids, lotions and creams can help with managing atopic dermatitis, although it can feel like there is not much you can do to keep a flare-up from happening again. That is why understanding the underlying immunological cause of atopic dermatitis is important to help understand how the skin works and those affected find new ways to cope with the disease.
But the symptoms are not always visible.
Atopic dermatitis can be frustrating, embarrassing and make those who live with it every day feel self-conscious about their appearance.2 The impact of atopic dermatitis can go deeper than the skin. Feelings of anxiety are common among people with atopic dermatitis.2
In a UK survey of patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, 80% reported feeling that their skin condition has a direct impact on their mood.3 Many become anxious, especially in public and social settings, feeling that they’re being looked at and judged by others.3
She gets anxious; like if she’s walking round the shops she’ll get anxious because she’ll think somebody’s looking at her.”(Partner of atopic dermatitis patient)3
The majority of people who have a moderate or severe form of atopic dermatitis report that itch can delay falling asleep and can also wake them up during the night.3
Just trying to fall asleep can take up to 2 hours because of itching and general restlessness. Staying asleep is another issue, 4 hours is all I can manage most nights, once I’m awake, the itch continues. The quality of sleep is never very good either; I’m always tired during the day.”(Atopic dermatitis patient)3
Millions of people in the UK live with atopic dermatitis.4
Click on the film clip below to hear how others live with and manage their condition.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis can help manage the ups and downs of life with the disease.
Atopic dermatitis occurs
equally as often in men and women.5
There are 1.5 million or 3% people in
the UK with atopic dermatitis,
the most common form of eczema.4,6
Atopic dermatitis occurs in
people of all races.7
1. NHS Choices. Atopic Eczema - Complications. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Eczema-(atopic)/Pages/Complications.aspx (Accessed April 2018).
2. Simpson et al. Patient burden of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD): Insights from a phase 2b clinical trial of dupilumab in adults. Am Acad Dermatol, pp. 74(3):491-498, 2016.
3. Sanofi Data on File. March 2018.
4. Nutten S. Atopic Dermatitis: Global Epidemiology and Risk Factors. Ann Nutr Metab 2015;66 (suppl 1): 8–16.
5. Medicine.net. Atopic Dermatitis. Available at: http://www.medicinenet.com/atopic_dermatitis/page3.htm . (Accessed April 2018).
6. Office for National Statistics. 2014 UK mid-year population estimate. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2015-10-29 (Accessed April 2018).
7. What is Atopic Dermatitis? National Eczema Association. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/what-is-atopic-dermatitis/ (Accessed April 2018).