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Depicting Atopic Dermatitis: What's Accurate and What's Not

I was watching a movie the other day in which there was a scene in which it was a joke that a character was trying to raise money for atopic dermatitis. It was repeated by another character that it's not a "real" condition. Thinking about my daughter and so many other babies I know with infantile atopic dermatitis as well as so many adults I know who suffer with atopic dermatitis daily I could not help but feel complete disrespect, disregard, and distaste from the movie I was watching. Furthermore, the saddening truth is that in our country far too many people share this belief that atopic dermatitis/eczema is not a significant condition.

AD is a serious and severe condition

When I think back to all the pain and discomfort some of my family members endure with their severe atopic dermatitis which cause them so much pain and discomfort, discolored their skin and made their elementary and middle school days painful at times. It truly saddens me. To not consider AD a severe and serious condition when those who experience it go through as much as they do and struggle to find prevention and relief every day is preposterous to me. Life with atopic dermatitis can cause struggles with the simplest things that we take for granted from bathing, to using lotion, to simply washing your hands, to going outside during allergy season, to staying inside during colder months to even sweating!

Living with a visible condition is challenging

What's worse is that way too often people with atopic dermatitis experience bullying or being picked on because of what the flare-ups do to their skin. Others still who do not get picked on are often too embarrassed to wear shorts or anything that reveals any portion of their irritated skin during a flare-up or time in which the flare-up has not yet cleared up. How hard and truly disheartening to literally not feel comfortable in your own skin. And then to experience all the aforementioned and more while having people not take your condition seriously or even make fun of it for their amusement.

With such a significant number of infants who experience atopic dermatitis and parents, mothers, and family members who witness and take part in determining how to ease the discomfort and irritation that these infants feel, more empathy for eczema should be prevalent in our country.

Awareness and understanding is increasing

On the other hand, awareness and understanding of how to treat and prevent flare-ups have grown tremendously in America. From times in which everyone believed that baby lotion and baby powder were the solution to all things baby to realizing that simpler and less is more for eczema is true growth in our society. Parents have a better understanding of the actions they need to take and how to be proactive about taking care of their child's atopic dermatitis needs. Support, communities for atopic dermatitis, research and advocacy have also grown tremendously. So I guess, all in all, atopic dermatitis in America has come a long way yet still has a long way to go.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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