Photo - Jo, Lola and James Clackett

Photo – Jo, Lola and James Clackett

Medway’s skin care nurses from Medway Community Healthcare are encouraging local people to know the signs of eczema during National Eczema Awareness Week, being led by the National Eczema Society, from 14 – 22 September 2013.

Eczema causes skin to become itchy, dry, sore and cracked and in severe cases can make skin bleed. Atopic eczema is the most common form and mainly affects children but can continue into adulthood.

The dermatology team at Medway Community Healthcare cares for adults and children with problem skin conditions, including eczema.

Christine Moysey, dermatology nurse specialist at Medway Community Healthcare said: “If you or your child have symptoms of eczema please see your GP who will be able to make a referral to our dermatology team if necessary.

“Many different types of treatment can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema, including medication and self-help techniques.”

Local mum Jo Clackett and her husband James, from Upchurch, were supported by Claire Jennings in the dermatology team to care for their daughter Lola, who began to develop signs of eczema at just four days old.

Jo explained: “Lola’s eczema began with small red blotches but gradually became worse. I tried changing our washing powder and did everything I could think of but by the time she was four months old her skin had become red in all the creases of her body and felt like sandpaper.

“We attended an appointment with Claire who diagnosed Lola with atopic eczema as soon as she saw her. Claire was so good, very patient and wrote everything down as she showed me how to use lotions and a steroid cream.

“Within two days of using the creams Lola’s skin had improved, her severe cradle cap had cleared and she was sleeping better too.

“As a first-time mum having someone to talk to and ask questions was very important.” Jo was so grateful for Claire’s support that she nominated her for a Recognising excellence award, run by Medway Community Healthcare to recognise staff who provide excellent care to their patients.

With the support of a nutritionist the family discovered Lola’s eczema was severely affected by cow’s milk – a common trigger of eczema.

Jo said: “As I was weaning Lola, I handed her a small stick of cheese and as it touched her skin it inflamed straight away. Finding the trigger meant we were able to avoid flare-ups.”

Jo added: “Lola is now two and the eczema is under control having replaced cow’s milk with a soya-based milk. We still moisturise her skin but we don’t need to use a steroid cream. Lola is much happier; she used to scratch at her skin at bath time but now she giggles and laughs.”