Impact on family and social life
Although it is not a serious disease, atopic dermatitis strongly impacts on everyday life.
Parents are anxious and children are tired: atopic dermatitis can upset the family routine due to its constraints, the attention and care it requires and the incessant scratching that exacerbates symptoms and leads to increasingly difficult nights.
Not only is it a heavy daily concern for parents, but siblings may also feel neglected or even hurt when the family stops participating in activities that could interfere with an atopic child's health, such as outdoor sports (sweating and exposure to pollens inflame patches of eczema) and trips to the pool or to the beach (burning sensation caused by chlorine and salt).
The family balance depends on the child's self-reliance
Through dermatological treatment and support, we can better understand the disease. We can also learn to limit its impact by not focusing all the attention on affected children at the expense of their brothers and sisters, for example, and by encouraging them to apply the ointment on their own... This should be done in an atmosphere of calm and confidence.
From the age of 4 or 5, children can learn to self-examine their skin and understand eczema, knowing that it will get better following the proper treatment. Through self-reliance, children can find the key to improving their daily lives and avoid feeling marginalized within their family and social lives.
When atopic dermatitis persists into adulthood, it can become a social handicap.
Given that it has a varying impact on physical appearance, it can also disturb the dynamic of a relationship or create discomfort in the atopic patient's professional environment. A simple handshake, for example, can make others feel uncomfortable or even lead to rejection.