Prevalence of Eczema in Singapore SchoolchildrenWe all know the cost that goes into managing our children’s eczema, it’s not only expensive, it is also stressful for the parents. Have you wondered how much worse off you would cope if you can’t afford moisturizers, can’t afford specialist treatment, can’t afford bath oils and have to take two jobs to make ends meet? This has been a burden in my heart ever since my baby has eczema, I’m thinking “How do low income eczema children cope? Do they end up overusing steroid cream? Do they even seek a treatment or even know that their children are suffering from eczema?”
In a study conducted as part of Phase 1 of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), it is observed that “children in lower socioeconomic groups tended to have more severe atopic disease”. Phase 1 was conducted in 1994, so $1k is considered as low income, and children in this income group experienced the highest incidence of persistent rash without clearing. (I wish I could find Phase 3 study online but I couldn’t get any information except that eczema increased from 1994 to 2001). In a study conducted in US, it was also noted a higher prevalence of eczema for low-income individuals, coupled with a low rate of physician diagnosis.
I am working with a non-profit in Singapore to set up an eczema fund to pay for the cost of moisturizers for low income eczema children. Will update everyone when the fund is ready, target sometime early 2012; if you are interested in contributing (even your two cents) to the fund, do email me, thanks!
January 2012 update: Singapore eczema fund set up here
Side note: Although there are many moisturizers that are super expensive, as they contain ceramides, lipids, anti-inflammatory properties, there are also basic ones that trap and retain moisture. Refer to this post series on moisturizer selection, and the most important choice for moisturizer (other than one which does not irritate your skin) is one that you can use comfortably (in the context of being affordable and feels comfortable on your child’s skin)