Eczema is highly common amongst Australians, with research showing 1 in 3 are affected by the skin condition at some stage in their life. This makes Australia one of the highest incidences of eczema in the world.
Eczema Awareness Week, held by the Eczema Association of Australasia (EAA) from May 13 - 19, is an important reminder to be proactive when caring for dry skin.
Eczema sufferer and EAA President, Cheryl Talent, said: "For most eczema sufferers - myself included - the winter months are a big challenge. The humidity drops, the air gets really dry and I start to experience flare-ups – especially on my hands."
"During this time, using the right eczema products is absolutely vital to getting good results. Personally, I find I have to change some of the products I use, such as switching lotion to a thicker emollient-rich cream."
To protect dry, sensitive skin from outbreaks this winter, Australians can use the E45 product range; a trusted skincare solution with over 60 years heritage in the UK.
Founded on proven dermatological expertise, the E45 range is specifically formulated with a range of emollients and occlusives, known to smooth and soften skin whilst providing a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss.
Perfume-free, the range includes a specifically formulated cream to reduce skin dryness in conditions such as eczema, as well as a daily moisturising lotion and cleansing shower cream.
Additional research insights from the Atopic Dermatitis 2018 Australian PEEK Study include:
1 in 10 Australian sufferers said eczema has had a significant impact on their quality of life in relation to becoming isolated and not being able to go out and be social
47 per cent of Australian eczema sufferers stated the condition had a significant impact on their personal relationships with family and friends
43 per cent of sufferers surveyed said eczema causes a significant impact on their self-esteem and confidence
Many Australians who suffer from eczema said their quality of life was either distressing or a little distressing with the survey's mean quality of life scores ranging from 2.40 to 3.62
E45 Product Range Information
A formula designed by experts for dry skin conditions. Cream E45 is registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
• Reduces skin dryness in conditions such as eczema
• Brings relief to a wide range of dry skin conditions including flaking skin
• Dermatologically tested
• Rich, soothing, perfume-free and non-greasy
• Unique formulation of occlusives, which work to form a layer on the skin surface and help to prevent water loss, and emollients, which soften the skin and make it smooth
• Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, see your health professional.
E45 Moisturising Lotion
A light perfume-free formulation that is suitable for everyday use all over the body, face and hands to give long-lasting care for dry and sensitive skin.
• Improves extremely dry skin in 2 weeks
• Suitable for daily use on extremely dry skin for the whole family, including babies
• Dermatologically tested
E45 Shower Cream
A gentle cleansing shower cream designed to actively moisturise skin and to help protect dry and sensitive skin from further drying, leaving it feeling soft, clean and more comfortable.
• Free from soaps and detergents
• Different to other shower creams because it does not dry skin
• Actively moisturises skin
• pH balanced
• Dermatologically tested
For more information about E45, visit: www.e45.com.au
Question: What message do you hope to spread during Eczema Awareness Week?
Cheryl Talent: Firstly, many Australians don't realise they have eczema yet it's a highly common condition and can be debilitating when left unmanaged; making driving awareness extremely important. Secondly, it's a great opportunity for us to highlight that, while there is no cure for eczema yet, effective skin management can give most sufferers relief from their symptoms. Our goal is to remind Australians that there are many ways they can minimise the impact eczema has on their lives and that we're here to help them better manage and care for their skin.
Question: Why do you believe Australia has one of the highest incidences of eczema in the world?
Cheryl Talent: Globally eczema is definitely on the rise, and, unfortunately, Australia is right up near the top 100. There is research that suggests one-in-three of us suffer from the condition at some stage in our lives.
There are many theories why we have so many allergy sufferers in Australia but the most common are delayed introduction of allergens, the workings of the human microbiome and urban life. We're becoming more sensitive to the toxins in our environment.
Question: How does your own eczema impact you on a daily basis?
Cheryl Talent: I was first diagnosed with eczema at just a few days old and have since been a lifelong sufferer. Like most people, I go through periods where my skin is quite good, but you never really get rid of it - it just seems to go into remission and you never know when it's going to flare up again! The trick is in the way you manage and care for your skin.
As I mainly suffer from hand eczema (dermatitis), I am very self-conscious whenever I go shopping – particularly when I'm handing money or my card to someone for a purchase. It also impacts me in my professional life. Part of constantly meeting and greeting people is shaking hands and when my hands have flared up and extremely sore, this is really difficult – not only do they look terrible, but they feel terrible as well. Something as simple as shaking hands can be so stressful for me.
Question: How do you manage your own eczema?
Cheryl Talent: For most eczema sufferers - myself included - the winter months are a big challenge. The humidity drops, the air gets really dry and I start to experience flare-ups – especially on my hands. That's why we hold Eczema Awareness Week in May, because for most people that's the worst time of year.
During this time, using the right eczema products is absolutely vital to getting good results. Personally, I find I have to change some of the products I use, such as switching lotion to a thicker emollient-rich cream like Cream E45. Sometimes I'll need to change from a soap-free wash to a bath or shower oil or use topical steroids to help better manage the flares. Many eczema sufferers tend to stick to the same products but we know that sometimes making a change can yield fantastic results.
Question: Why is it crucial to use emollient-based products when caring for dry skin?
Cheryl Talent: Minimising the itch factor is always a question of keeping the skin moisturised! Choosing a moisturiser or cream that contains both occlusive and emollients, such as Cream E45, will help to relieve the itchy symptoms of eczema and help to stop you from scratching the affected areas and making it worse.
Occlusives work to form a layer on the skin surface and help to prevent water loss, while emollients soften the skin and make it smooth.
Question: What advice do you have for Australians suffering from eczema?
Cheryl Talent: If you're starting to notice your eczema flare up as the weather changes, it's time to reassess your skin routine. Some simple strategies to consider include trying a thicker, emollient-rich moisturising cream or using a humidifier to add some moisture back into the dry air – you can even place some bowls of water around the house when you've got the heating on! I would also encourage all eczema sufferers to visit their doctor and put together a new skin management plan, as well as visit their pharmacy to find out what new products are available for skin relief.
Interview by Brooke Hunter