Book Review: Living with Eczema by MarcieMom and Professor Hugo van Bever

Living-with-Eczema-book-coverLiving with Eczema is a well-researched guide on eczema from MarcieMom of EczemaBlues and Professor Hugo van Bever, focusing particularly on eczema in children and how parents can help their children manage their condition.

With enough scientific information to be of interest to the medical profession and enough practical information to be useful to parents, children and adult eczema sufferers, this book manages to strike the right balance.

The key message is that there is still so much research that is needed in the management and treatment of eczema. The book starts with an introduction on skin and skin conditions and slowly goes deeper into types of eczema and what can be done about them.

Interspersed throughout the book are sections dedicated to questions and answers: this makes the book very accessible to laypeople who may not be familiar with medical terminology and are seeking answers to common questions on eczema.

This in itself is a great addition to the book, as you can go back to it over and over again to look up symptoms or other issues. Of course, the main advice in the book is to always consult with a doctor.

The book is a useful guide to understand eczema better and focus the attention on how to make living with eczema more comfortable.

As an eczema sufferer myself (thankfully I haven’t had a major flare-up since 2013), I can say that any information on eczema and its treatment is always welcome. When you are in the middle of a flare-up and your skin is itchy and broken, your stress levels are high and so is your frustration. You simply want to get on with life but if your hands are sore and sensitive, like in my case, it can limit what you can do and cannot do.

I can understand how painful and uncomfortable it must be for children and adults with eczema, but I cannot even start to imagine how difficult life can be in cases of eczema where the condition affects large areas of the body. This can have a huge psychological effect on sufferers whose quality of life is quite poor.

The book deals with various types of eczema, from contact dermatisis to atopic eczema, and tries to investigate causes, however so far there is no ultimate answer as to what causes eczema (is it related to food allergies? Bacteria?). It seems that skin sensitivity early on in a child’s life can be a cause, together with bacterial infection.

The book contains practical advice such as avoiding direct sunlight (depending on the type of eczema) and going to the swimming pool on a regular basis as chlorinated water has a protective effect on eczema skin. Again, you need to investigate eczema on a case by case basis so what works for one type of eczema won’t work for another, which makes finding the right treatment a challenge.

Overall this is a good eczema guide that both patients and medical professionals will find useful.

You can find more information at EczemaQnA where you can interact with the authors and ask questions, as well as purchase the book.

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