By showing you understand the impact of dry and itchy skin on your patients, you can improve your relationships with them and, potentially, the outcomes of their treatment.
A survey by the British Skin Foundation found that skin diseases in general can have a significant psychosocial impact.*
68% of people said a fall in self-confidence was the number one issue caused by their skin disease
42% of people said the second biggest area affected was their work life
56% of people said making new friends was their third biggest issue
29% of people said their skin disease was an active barrier in finding a partner
20% of people had been bullied regularly
It’s important to recognise that some of the physical consequences of skin conditions could lead to psychological problems e.g. if itching is keeping a patient up at night, they might be struggling with the emotional effects of sleep deprivation as well as the physical effects of the condition.
The emotional impact of dry and itchy skin conditions could also impact patients’ lifestyle choices, e.g. if the patient feels self-conscious, they might stop seeing friends; or children with skin conditions might try and skip school.
* British Skin Foundation online skin disease survey. 729 respondents with skin diseases (2012)
Organisations that offer support services or the opportunity to connect with other people affected by dry and itchy skin conditions are listed below:
The National Eczema Society
As the UK's leading eczema patient support organisation, the National Eczema Society's website offers helpful resources for people with eczema and their parents and carers. They also strive to raise awareness with healthcare professionals, teachers and the government.
Eczema Outreach Scotland helps improve the quality of life of people affected by eczema. The charity specialises in supporting children with eczema and their families in Scotland in a variety of ways, from practical advice about school or benefits, emotional support, family outings and peer group support.
As the leading UK charity for people affected by psoriasis, the Psoriasis Association shares valuable information for those affected by psoriasis, provides support, and raises awareness for the condition and funds for research.
Skin Support, created by the British Association of Dermatologists, offers fact sheets about different skin conditions and emotional support for people with dry or itchy skin. You can also find support groups in your local area.