A fun and Effective Guide to Managing Eczema

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This free, illustrated guidebook reveals simple tips and ideas that mums and dads (and their kids) need to know, to effectively manage eczema.

“About one out of five children is affected by eczema at certain stages of their lives.”- Consultant Paediatric Dermatologist, Dr. Leong Kin Fon

Living with eczema is not an easy thing to do. Defined as a skin condition, eczema causes inflamed and irritated skin which then leads to unbearable itchiness. Imagine not being able to sleep because of the itching; the inevitable rashes that appear and which may weep or bleed. Worst of all, you will have to deal with the embarrassment of having people stare at you with disgusted looks on their faces.

As an adult, eczema may just feel like a medical condition that you need to live with but what happens when it is your child who has eczema? Children may not be able to understand why they shouldn’t scratch that itch, why they need to moisturise and also why hot bubble baths aren’t allowed. Additionally, trying to calm your child who’s crying because they’re uncomfortable, itchy and upset may make you want to burst into tears too!

A new guidebook about how to help children cope with eczema tackles these challenges and more. Launched in conjunction with the National Eczema Awareness Month in April, ‘My Eczema Action Plan’ aims to help parents get to know the ins and outs of eczema in a simple and fun manner. The added bonus is that this book is also suitable for adults, like me, who struggle with this common skin condition.

My Eczema Action Plan is a delightful guidebook that is fully illustrated. There are two cartoon characters — Claire and Nezam — who play key roles. These two were incorporated to capture the attention of eczema patients below the age of five so they would be able to enjoy the book and learn from it as well.

The book is just 18 pages long and very user friendly. To add more fun to the reading experience, it comes with 12 fun stickers, featuring Claire and Nezam, for kids to enjoy. My favourite sentence in the book is, “It is not your fault that you have eczema. Nothing you or your parents did or didn’t do caused you to get eczema.” I think this serves as a wonderful reassurance as it reinforces the fact that having eczema is not the child’s fault, in any way.

My Eczema Action Plan contains lots of information in simple language about what happens when you scratch your rashes. It also explains the benefits of teaming up with your doctor, your treatment plan, tips and tricks for soothing eczema and introduces the intriguing ‘traffic light system’ as a way to connect to their young readers.

The traffic light system incorporates the colours green, yellow and red to determine the condition of your skin. The green zone means that your skin looks normal with only mild irritation but care must still be taken. Yellow is when you begin to itch more intensely and a red scaly rash may appear. Red is the danger zone where rescue medicines might not work with the possibility of yellowish fluid oozing out of where you scratch. These zones will help determine how best to take care of your skin.

All the tips in the book — like cutting your nails short and wearing light, comfy clothing — are simple and easy to follow but very helpful for both children and adults who suffer from eczema. I especially like the idea of carrying an ‘eczema rescue pouch’ with essentials that help take care of skin irritation and itching when you’re on the go. Items that should be in the pouch include a wet towel, dry hand towel, small container of moisturiser and controller cream. Controller creams hydrate and also relieve itching and redness.

There is also a special section at the back of the book on what to do when the itching becomes unbearable. It includes ideas like keeping your hands busy so you won’t feel like scratching yourself, covering your legs and arms with long sleeves and pants and using a cold compress to alleviate the itching.

All in all, this guidebook is highly informative and simple to understand. I think it is perfect for every member of the family. My Eczema Action Plan is available for free download at MyEAP.com.my.

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