As a relatively well-educated guy with an interest in eczema, I was interested to step outside my skin, so to speak, and watch as I entered in my questions in the survey--I didn't think too hard, so they were my knee-jerk reactions, what I want to know at a primal level:
- how can I stop scratching?
- how can I stop scratching at night?
- how can I stop my scratched skin from getting infected?
Not exactly PhD material, eh?
But I think this illustrates what patients want from researchers. We are not interested in the science. We want results. And there's basically one thing we want: we want the itch to stop. If the itch stops, the scratching stops, and then there's much less risk of infection. So our challenge to researchers is "figure out what's causing the itch in eczema. Then figure out how to stop it."
I do have to say that eczema is a fascinating condition, though, when you start to read the scientific literature. I just wish my interest in it was purely intellectual.
Julie Block at the NEA asked me to write a brief research summary for the next e-newsletter, about a new discovery in itch pathways. When the newsletter comes out I'll comment on it.