“Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as part of a paid program. All opinions are my own.”
Many of you know that I struggle with health issues, but you may not know that I have atopic dermatitis. When I was approached by Understand AD, a national campaign focused on educating people about moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and raising awareness about the physical and quality of life impact of the disease, I jumped at the chance to talk about atopic dermatitis.
For those of you who don’t know (or who have wondered what the weird looking red rash is on my arms), atopic dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema.1 It is characterized by unpredictable flare-ups triggered in part by a malfunction in the immune system.2,3,4,5 Symptoms can include red rashes, intense itch, dryness, cracking, crusting and oozing of the skin, and they can occur on any part of the body.1
As someone who has lived with atopic dermatitis, I can only imagine the difficulties and frustrations for someone living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. I can imagine that it not only impacts people physically, but also socially and emotionally. I’m sure many of you may have seen, but in many of my pictures, you can see the red rashes on my arms. Having these types of symptoms can be really challenging for me because it’s embarrassing, uncomfortable and visible for everyone to see.
If You Have Atopic Dermatitis, You Are Not Alone
Understand AD released new survey data to help quantify the physical, psychological, social and professional impact on American adults living with the disease. The survey asked 505 U.S. adults (18 years of age and older) who self-reported being diagnosed with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis a series of questions about their experience with the disease. The survey findings showed moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis may affect not only patients’ skin, but multiple aspects of their lives. Key findings include:
- 53 percent of people living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis reported that their disease has negatively impacted their daily lives
- 82 percent have made lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding social engagements, being in pictures and participating in sports/exercise
- 55 percent reported that their confidence was negatively impacted due to their disease
- 49 percent say their sleep has been negatively impacted by the disease, moderately or significantly
- 23 percent of people feel depressed and 28 percent feel anxious due to their AD
- 20 percent report that their AD has impacted their ability to maintain employment and 16 percent have made career choices that limit face-to-face interactions with others because of the disease
An estimated 1.6 million adults in the United States are living with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis,6 and these survey results reveal the widespread and serious impact that it has on people living with the disease. It’s important to know that if you are living with atopic dermatitis, you are not alone. I want you to get out there and live your life!
Understand AD also features celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner (Food Network, Bravo’s Top Chef) as the spokesperson for the campaign. She has lived with the disease for more than 20 years. Elizabeth joined the Understand AD campaign because she wants to share her experience of living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in order to help people understand what a life-impacting disease it can be. Atopic dermatitis has impacted so many parts of her life, and she wants to help create a community for people who may feel isolated and alone. I had no idea about her story, but it truly is incredible and inspiring.
To learn more about Elizabeth’s experience, you can visit www.UnderstandAD.com. On the website, you can also find other stories from people living with the disease, learn more about moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and get connected with advocates such as the National Eczema Association and the Dermatology Nurses’ Association.
I received compensation to write this post. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, BreaGettingFit Disclosure.
1 https://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/atopic-dermatitis#risk Accessed: September 21, 2016.
2 National Institutes of Health (NIH). Handout on Health: Atopic Dermatitis (A type of eczema) May 2013. Available online: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Atopic_Dermatitis/default.asp. Accessed: September 21, 2016.
3 Gittler JK, et al. Progressive activation of TH2/TH22 cytokines and selective epidermal proteins characterizes acute and chronic atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012; 130:6. 1345-1354.
4 Leung DYM, Boguniewicz M, Howell MD, Nomura I, Hamid QA. New insights into atopic dermatitis. J Clin Invest. 2004;113:651-657.
5 Lebwohl MG, Del Rosso JQ, Abramovits W, et al. Pathways to managing atopic dermatitis: consensus from the experts. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013;6(7 Suppl):S2-S18
6 Adelphi Final Report, data on file
US-ILF-13557 | US.DUP.16.10.048