KUWAIT: To mark the occasion of Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Day, held annually on 14 September, Pfizer hosted a media roundtable to raise awareness about this chronic inflammatory disease and how it impacts the quality of life for patients. Attended by leading local medical professionals, the roundtable was designed to understand atopic dermatitis triggers, symptoms and how to manage them, and recognize when to see a dermatologist.
Atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema or eczema, is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin conditions, affecting people of all ages and genders around the world. It appears as a rash (or skin lesions), causes itching, and may worsen or flare over time4. More than “just a rash”, atopic dermatitis can be potentially debilitating condition that disrupts patients’ daily lives and can negatively impact their emotional well-being. Specifically, atopic dermatitis can lead to disturbed sleep, embarrassment, and difficulty concentrating, among other things.
Atopic dermatitis can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on several factors, including the extent and severity of disease3. According to a study conducted last year by the Global Burden of Disease, about 223 million people are living with atopic dermatitis, of which around 43 million are aged between 1 to 4 years old. This illustrates the strikingly high prevalence in young children. Dr Atlal Al Lafi, Vice President at Kuwait Society of Dermatologists, Chairman of Dermatology Council & Head of Dermatology Department at As-ad Al Hamad Dermatology Center in Kuwait, commented, “Atopic dermatitis is so much more than just a rash, and it goes beyond the surface of the skin.
The most common symptom of atopic dermatitis is itching, which can be severe, while other symptoms like red dry patches of the skin can flare in multiple areas of the body at the same time and can appear in the same locations and in new locations. It is important to keep working towards increasing atopic dermatitis awareness and encouraging early referral to improve patient outcomes in Kuwait.
Dr Abeer Al-Bazali, General Secretary at Kuwait Society of Dermatologists, & Head of Dermatology Department at Farwaniya Hospital in Kuwait added, “The reality for patients living with chronic inflammatory skin disease such as moderate-to-sever atopic dermatitis is that many experience debilitating symptoms and it can both significantly disrupt their daily lives and negatively impact their emotional well-being.
Fortunately, today the field of atopic dermatitis management is advancing with new, more targeted medication which can be given orally, offering new horizons for patients whose disease is not adequately controlled with other systemic drug products, or when use of other therapies is inadvisable. Therefore, patients must see a doctor if they suspect they may be experiencing atopic dermatitis symptoms.”
Dr Nadine Tarcha, Gulf Medical Director, Pfizer, commented: “As a chronic inflammatory disease impacting mental, physical and social well-being, atopic dermatitis patients can face a lifetime of challenges impacting relationships and their productivity if not managed properly. On this Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Day, we continue to drive our focus on increasing awareness so that patients can understand better this disease, its symptoms, and triggers.
At Pfizer Gulf, we apply science to bring breakthroughs that significantly improve the life of people living with chronic inflammatory diseases, which can be debilitating and distressing, dramatically affecting what they can do.”