Take our challenge and “live the itch” of eczema

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Itch is frequently rated as the most bothersome symptom of atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema, and as one of the hardest parts of living with the inflammatory skin condition.

November is Eczema Awareness Month, and the Eczema Society of Canada (ESC) is inviting Canadians to “live the itch” of AD by setting their alarms to sound off once an hour, every hour, for 24 hours, and experience a glimpse of life with this intense and often painful symptom, which disrupts sufferers both day and night.

“Live the itch” of eczema! 

STEP 1 Challenge friends and family to live a day in the life of an eczema sufferer.

STEP 2 Invite them to set an alarm once an hour, every hour, for 24 hours and experience a glimpse of what it is like to be disrupted by itch throughout the day and night. You can also personalize the challenge by asking them to set their alarm the same number of times you itch during the day.

STEP 3 Share the experience on social media by tagging @EczemaSocietyofCanada and including the hashtag #LivetheItch.

What is the impact of itch?

Read ESC’s survey report “Itch in Atopic Dermatitis”

The “Live the itch” challenge follows a recent report created by ESC on the impact of itch. According to Itch in Atopic Dermatitis, Canadians who live with itch are significantly burdened on a daily basis.

The survey revealed that 44% of adults with severe AD feel itchy all the time, and 76% of children with moderate or severe AD are woken from sleep due to their itch. It is common for adults and children who live with AD to experience skin damage, pigment changes, marks, and scars as a result from frequent and intense scratching.

The “Live the itch” challenge aims to highlight this experience.  When creating the campaign, ESC invited their Eczema Ambassadors – a group of dedicated volunteers who live with the condition — to challenge their friends and family to “live the itch” of AD for 24 hours. By setting their alarms, they experienced the frustration and disruption throughout their day and even overnight; the challenge aims to provide a small glimpse of what it is like to live with the disruption that comes with persistent and frequent itch.

Eczema Ambassador Allie and her sister Melissa took the challenge together.

Allie told ESC: “Eczema runs in my family, and the challenge made us all stop and think about how itch impacts our lives. The Live the Itch Challenge is a great way for people to understand the persistence of the itch from eczema and the interruptions itch causes to daily life.”

Melissa added: “I have seen my sister survive through a lot of pain over the years and suffer through itchy days and nights. Taking the challenge made me and my family see a little glimpse into what she goes through everyday. We were happy to support Allie – she is one of the strongest women I know.”

Watch our video to learn more.

Throughout the month of November, ESC will be sharing stories — like Allie and Melissa’s — with decision-makers to help them better understand the realities of eczema and the need for better care and new treatment options.

Allie tells ESC: “While I wouldn’t wish feeling itchy on anyone, I‘d like people to understand how frequent and bothersome itch can be. I hope that by participating in this challenge and having these conversations, we can raise awareness around AD and why sufferers deserve better care and understanding.”

Want to take the challenge? Tag @EczemaSocietyofCanada on social media and include the hashtag #LivetheItch