A lot has been said about medical treatment of eczema, as opposed to a social approach. Even this blog, End Eczema, suggests that finding a cure for the skin condition, eradicating its tragic effects of which we are all well aware, is only a matter of time. Since eczema is thought to be a part genetic and part environmental issue, it is a very ambitious task. But then again, scientists’ achievements in medical genetics, arguably due to a technical advancement too, have been astonishing.
We at Eczema Outreach Scotland obviously do support the research which is being done with an aim of implementing a successful treatment for eczema. However, we have chosen to follow a different path, of a social character. This is not to suggest that we should drop professional medical advice, quite the opposite.
Eczema Outreach Scotland concentrates on building strong social bonds between eczema sufferers. This approach is well built in our services. We support families by creating connections between them and giving information. Our social outings aim at increasing confidence and self-esteem of children with eczema. Reduction of stigma, which is another Eczema Outreach Scotland goal, is again directly connected to the social relations that we build around us.
The need for strengthening these relations can be well observed in children’s words. Five-year old G said: ‘Before I met K, I used to think I was the only scratchy girl in the world. She is my new friend. She wears bandages too. We had a lot of fun together today and our mummies said we’d keep in touch.’ This is food for thought, and not only for people from outside the eczema world, but also all those with an interest in the cause.
Eczema Outreach Scotland gives room for children and parents to socialise. Our free outings organised in Scotland are an excellent example of this approach. Few weeks ago, for instance, we organised one in Edinburgh. It included allergy-free cookery demonstration and talk hosted by Children and Young Peoples Allergy Network Scotland as well as drama and art workshops. There were lots of opportunities for children to start and nurture new friendships, build self-esteem and enjoy a positive experience connected to their condition. Now we are planning new outings in Elgin and Cumbernauld.
Every family affected by childhood eczema in Scotland is encouraged to join our free membership and we count on each reader of this blog to spread the word!