National Eczema Week 2008 13-20 September
‘Hold a hand for eczema’
‘Hold a hand for eczema’
14 July 2008
Arissa Ghani, Bradford
“My daughter’s nails are always full of blood. How on earth is she going to cope at school?”
Four-year-old Arissa Ghani developed eczema at just nine weeks. Showing signs of allergy and asthma during a family holiday in Wales, Arissa soon developed an angry, hot and raised rash on her cheeks which rapidly spread across the rest of her body.
“I just thought, “Oh my god – not eczema”, says her mother, 34-year-old Anjum Ghani of Little Horton in Bradford. “I’d seen other children with eczema in the past and always felt so sorry when I saw them scratching at their skin. And now here I was, with no history of it in the family and with my newborn daughter covered in itchy, weeping skin. I wondered how she, and I, were going to cope.”
Now on a range of mild to moderate topical steroid creams for different parts of her body, combined with essential medical moisturisers (emollients) for use directly on her skin and in the bath, Arissa is starting full time school in September. It’s an anxious time for the family.
“Not only is Arissa’s eczema very bad but she also suffers with asthma, a nut and an egg allergy so we’re constantly on edge never knowing if her skin or her allergies will impact on where we are and what we’re doing,” Anjum explains.
“Starting school in September is a worry. She’s done really well going part time at the school nursery but full time school is so different. Her sleep is still very disrupted because of her itching and scratching and I always have to wake her up in the morning – and she won’t be able to catch up on sleep in the afternoon when she’s full time.
“However understanding the teachers are, it’s no replacement for the care and attention I can give her at home.”
Anjum is welcoming the updated Schools Pack from the National Eczema Society which aims to relieve the worry and stress of a child with eczema starting school by providing information, guidance and lesson tips for teachers.
“The Schools Pack is perfect for a family like ours. It’s something I know I can take to Arissa’s teacher which has everything in it she needs to know. And I love the fact that it includes lesson ideas so her teacher can bring the subject of eczema into lesson time so Arissa’s classmates understand more about eczema.
“The last thing I want is for Arissa to feel different. She copes so well but it breaks my heart to see her nails full of blood as she tears at her skin. It’s like she’s in a trace when she scratches and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop her.
“I really don’t know if it will ever get better,” she adds. “Some days it doesn’t feel like it. That’s why I’m so glad the National Eczema Society is offering this support at such a crucial time as starting school. We really do need all the help we can get to make this important transition for our lovely daughter as smooth, as complete and as painless as possible.”
For press enquiries or to organise interviews please contact:
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The National Eczema Society
The National Eczema Society runs a free helpline for people affected by eczema:
Tel: 0800 0891122
Monday to Friday between 8am – 8pm
Or email: email@example.com
NB: The helpline operates “Language Line” offering answered calls in over 100 languages using a simultaneous translator.
Tel: 0207 281 3553
Fax: 0207 281 6395