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30 June 2021

Despite growing awareness and advancement around skin conditions, the burden that atopic eczema patients endure each day is still not sufficiently recognised. Pain, isolation, and economic costs result from the gap in consensus around multidisciplinary care.

In truth, a multidisciplinary approach based on needs could address the many challenges patients face in Europe around their lives and in treatment. Awareness of these issues is currently only acknowledged within the atopic eczema community and needs broader understanding in society.

The lack of consensus around the burden of Atopic Eczema in the healthcare community can lead to low prioritisation of the condition, while EFA believes it should be recognised as a serious chronic disease. EFA seeks to change this situation, by gathering 15 key opinion leaders in the atopic eczema community and setting up a Consensus Committee. The committee will identify and discuss the burden, with the aim of recommending potential solutions. 

On 28th April, EFA held the first meeting of the Atopic Eczema Consensus Europe project. The meeting kicked off with a vote to elect the chair and the co-chair of the committee. We congratulate chair Professor Andreas Wollenberg (representing healthcare professionals) and co-chair Joana Camilo (representing patients), who will have special roles throughout the work of the Committee. 

It was an insightful session, where all committee members had the opportunity to share their knowledge, views and experiences. The Committee was able to find common ground rather quickly.

The Committee members discussed the different aspects of what burden means for atopic eczema patients, focusing on stigma and the emotional and physical burden that adults and children often face. They also discussed treatment, late diagnosis, and the patient journey, as well as the economic impact of the condition.

The next and final meeting of the Committee will take place in October 2021. It will serve to review the draft consensus report, explore the potential solutions identified, and build a consensus to improve the quality of life for people living with Atopic Eczema and to help drive change.

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