Grammy-award winner LeAnn Rimes is knowk as an acclaimed country music star but her golden journey has been marked with a chronic skin condition that could get even the best of us, down. Diagnosed with eczema when she was 2 years old, she knows well the cycle of itchy, red, scaly, inflamed and very frustrating skin flare ups. It's the type of chronic skin condition that many people hide - and LeAnn was no different.
Eczema affects 35 million Americans and it typically appears by age 5. The symptoms can last for decades and it can have a profound impact on patients lives, with depression and frustration commonly associated with serious flare-ups. And 80% of children who develop eczema, will go on to develop hay fever, asthma or both. Unfortunately, according to a new report from the National Eczema Association for Science and Education (NEASE), there may be a disconnect between doctors and patients when it comes to managing the disease. Novartis Pharmaceuticals has launched Treat Eczema Now and LeAnn Rimes has agreed to become the spokesperson for the campaign. She has decided to share her own personal experience with the condition since she now has strategies in place that are successfully managing the disease.
One area that the campaign is focusing on is the fact that though 91% of doctors who treat patients with eczema believe that prescription drugs do a "fine job," 64% of patients with eczema are dissatisfied with the prescription medication. The reality is that sometimes patients don't understand exactly how to use the prescription medication - subtle changes in the regimen can lower the impact of treatment - and so they give up in frustration and become resigned to the chronicity and discomfort of the condition. The Treat Eczema Now campaign hopes to bridge the gap between doctors and patients with educational tools including an "eczema survival guide." We will also continue to blog and provide information on the latest research that can help patients manage this disease.