According to the National Eczema Society around one in five British children and one in twelve adults (1) suffers from eczema (dermatitis), making it the most common cause of occupational skin disease.
Not surprisingly then, just about everyone will know someone who has eczema. But did you also know:
1. There are eight different categories of eczema including cradle cap – Seborrheic Eczema – and Varicose Eczema which is a caused by internal pressure from Varicose Veins.
2. Children who ‘grow out’ of eczema are much more likely to get a form of it in later life.
3. In most cases of inherited (atopic eczema) there will be family history of asthma, hay fever or allergies.
4. It is thought that people who have eczema have skin which does not produce as many protective fats and oils as other people. Moisture is lost from the deep layers of the skin, drying out the skin layers and allowing bacteria and allergic irritants to pass through more easily.
5. Newly launched in the UK, the over the counter treatment ENTEROSGEL is proven to improve the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions and has been used in hospital and clinics in Russia and Eastern Europe for over thirty years for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
‘Allergies are major factors in triggering skin conditions such as eczema and urticaria (hives), hay fever and asthma, and much of my job as a dermatologist is trying to reduce the severity of allergic response,’ says Dr Katya Burova, Consultant Dermatologist at Bedford Hospital.
‘Eczema is often a symptom of an allergic or toxic reaction and is treated most effectively if the allergen is removed from the body’
Taken orally in water, Enterosgel adsorbs histamines (allergens) in the gut and removes them within 12-24 hours. Clinical studies with Enterosgel demonstrate significant improvement of allergy status and normalisation of the total serum IgE levels (implicated in allergic reactions) (2) and in the treatment of urticaria (3).
Michael Frost, 16, from Bedford, finished his GCSEs this summer. He has suffered from eczema since he was a baby.
‘When I was very young my eczema only appeared in small patches behind my knees and in my elbows and we could control it by the use of cortisone creams and wet wraps which eased the symptoms.
‘However, during a holiday to Spain in 2011, the patches got infected and suddenly my eczema had spread all over my arms and legs and appeared on the trunk of my body and even my face. It was very painful and uncomfortable and looked awful.
‘When I got back from Spain we managed to get things a bit more under control with creams but the eczema was still over my legs, arms and face. I suffered from regular flare ups and last September I was hospitalised with a really bad skin infection and put on an antibiotic drip. It was really unpleasant and painful and didn’t really improve from then on. In addition, I developed severe hay fever which badly affected my exams last year.’
As his consultant, with experience of the effectiveness of Enterosgel in the treatment of skin conditions, Dr Katya Burova, suggested Michael tried Enterosgel.
‘I thought it was a bit alternative, but I really had nothing left to lose so agreed to give it a go,’ says Michael. ‘I had to take a tablespoon full three times a day, dissolved in a small amount of water for ten days. I didn’t mind the taste but the texture was quite odd.
‘I wasn’t really expecting great things. I have taken so many different treatments over the years and nothing has really helped. So I was really surprised when within a week, my eczema started to go from my legs, arms and trunk. Within a couple of weeks all that was left was a few little specks on my left arm. It has pretty much stayed that way which has never happened before.
‘In addition I have hardly suffered from hay fever this year. I had been very worried about sitting through my GCSEs with itchy eyes and a running nose, so it was brilliant to be able to go into an exam and just concentrate on the work instead.
‘I can’t really put this improvement down to anything other than Enterosgel as that is the only thing I have changed. If my eczema returns I will absolutely take another course of Enterosgel. It has made a really big difference to my life and I am really happy about it.’
‘Enterosgel works in a similar way to charcoal, a substance that has been used since Roman times to counteract food poisoning and gastric infections, but charcoal can be a bit rough for the mucosa of the digestive track,’ explains Dr Burova. ‘Enterosgel has been developed to be quite harmless without any particular side effects apart from the possibility of causing constipation. For this reason I always advise my patients to drink plenty of water when they take it.
‘Usually, as with Michael, a ten day course is enough to noticeably reduce the allergic response and improve the quality of the skin. I am very pleased that he has responded so well to Enterosgel.’
‘Enterosgel has only been available in the UK for a few months but I will be certainly recommending it to more of my patients.’
Enterosgel is available at Lloyds Pharmacy, Holland & Barrett and from November this year in Boots Pharmacy too.
Available in both sachets and tubes (225 g), priced at £19.50.