Over the past 3 years, the incidence of atopic dermatitis (an inflammatory disease) has increased. This clinical diagnosis is determined by the Hanifin and Rajka criteria. As a consequence of the disease, patients note a noticeable change in the quality of life for themselves and their relatives. Children suffer from constant itching, lesions, and a new treatment routine in their usual life with financial difficulties due to the cost of treatment. In preschool children, sleep disturbance due to pruritus is observed, which in turn affects mood, concentration, and behavior during the daytime. Older children and adolescents are vulnerable in terms of self-esteem.
The disease can be controlled with appropriate treatment. The better the patient and the persons who will be involved in the course of treatment are instructed, the more effective the treatment will be for the patient. Patients are usually offered outpatient visits as part of the program, but often these visits are not long enough for full awareness of atopic dermatitis. This leads to its own regularity of therapy and the patient is looking for alternative or non-traditional methods of treatment. This is the main reason why there should be additional educational activities on this topic, and the patient himself should be aware of new treatment technologies, the intricacies of the disease, get to know his body, and not self-medicate.
In different countries, they met this problem and, contributing to the care of children and their loved ones, created interdisciplinary plans for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, the so-called educational interventions. Such programs will have a positive impact on patients, as they will show how to cope with the usefulness and where to look for accurate information — they will become reliable sources. One of the tasks is to educate on the use of specific medicines and to discuss with patients and others involved in the treatment of the problems that the treated people face.
Psychological support is also present in these interdisciplinary practices to identify and eliminate emotional triggers in children that have appeared in connection with the disease. They are also developing strategies to support children in these times of crisis. For example, relaxation tactics for restful sleep.
Psychological support is also necessary for children for a general understanding of what kind of disease it is and for stimulating active skincare. For children, there are other strategies: theater productions or wellness games that focus on disturbing topics that activate communication with children about health. Through these educational practices, staff can identify which children would need additional psychological support.
In the example of Japan, one can observe the effectiveness of these therapies not only for children but also for adults. There, a study was coordinated within which educational lectures were held on the subject of epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment of atopic dermatitis, and its diagnosis. In addition, they organized practical sessions on how to take care of children’s skin. Such events are not in vain, as evidenced by statistics — the severity of the disease has improved. Educational activities cover the topics of psychological support and methods of dealing with dermatitis throughout the topic of skincare.
The facts about the dependence on the quality of life and the severity of the disease are quite contradictory. According to the assessment, there is a ratio of the emotional factor and quality of life using the “dermatological index of quality of life”. But, for example, there is no correlation between eczema (AD) area and severity index according to the same assessment.
It is not enough for patients to know that they have atopic dermatitis. Since today there are different treatments and triggers for many conditions of eczema, it is important to understand what type the patient has. Dermatologists try to do everything possible so that, in addition to receiving a diagnosis, patients expand their knowledge about the problem.
There are cases when a person goes through a local steroid withdrawal, but only finds out about it after 2 years, browsing communities on social networks. Based on these facts, it is important to be interested, go to websites where you can find information about the disease or about the drugs that are usually prescribed for cases of atopic dermatitis.
Familiarization with information about the disease through groups, blogs, and communities will help you understand yourself, and other people, find like-minded people and get rid of feelings of loneliness. It is important to understand that not one person in the world is struggling with this disease.
Introduction to Medicines
Depending on the type of eczema, doctors may prescribe different treatments: oral steroids or topical analogs, vitamins, ointments, and injections. Immunosuppressants can be added to this list, which already creates an overall serious picture of treatment. This should be another motivation to study the topic of drug treatment and to understand at a high level exactly how the drug affects the body and what side effects can occur. For example, quite unexpectedly the patient may have the problem of facial flushing after drinking alcohol, even after the medication is finished.
Observations on the Evolution of Eczema Research
Few people know that there are scientists who study itching, its cycles, and its conditions. There is so much research going on today that it’s hard to imagine how much information can be gleaned from a single topic. For patients with eczema, scientists have begun a study in which they determine the gene that is responsible for atopic dermatitis. Looking through this kind of information brings hope and a feeling that someone cares. Getting sick with dermatitis in the 21st century is much preferable and safer than in the last century.
Therapeutic Education in Atopic Dermatitis
A number of studies have been conducted that prove that the effectiveness of TE for sick people is quite high. Practitioners give positive results in the severity of the disease, quality of life, overcoming itching, and adherence to treatment. The subject of research was seminars in groups of patients, which were conducted by medical personnel: nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, and dermatologists. A 30-minute educational session has been shown to have little or no effect, while a full 12-hour course has been shown to be a major benefit for adult patients in combating disease severity and impacting psychosocial outcomes.
Moreover, therapeutic training also affects the economic indicator. If one computes deeper and realizes the dependence on illness and spending on treatment, then one can conclude that the easier the disease passes, the less money is spent on drugs, a bed in the hospital, as well as skipping school, or losing some part of the salary.