Unless you’ve lived with severe atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, it’s hard to understand what this means day to day. Many people associate eczema with itchy skin, or a bit of redness that children grow out of, but this couldn’t be further from the truth for people with severe forms of the disease.

This is according to Talia, a 26-year-old Canberran who has lived with severe atopic dermatitis most of her early adult life.

“When I say severe atopic dermatitis, I mean dry skin to the point I couldn’t wear clothes, being unable to keep a job full-time and go out with friends.”

My life with severe atopic dermatitis

Talia says the condition impacts every aspect of life. It creates anxiety and discomfort because it prevents people with the condition from relaxing.

“One of my lowest points was being told I could not go on a clinical trial for a new medicine because my condition was too severe to stop my current medication. I thought this really is the end. It was a very emotional time for me.”

Talia hopes that sharing her story will help others understand the severity of the condition and the importance of seeking support from your doctor.

“I hope by sharing my experiences, people will have a little more insight into the reality of severe atopic dermatitis. Understanding the condition is the first step to ensuring people with the condition get the help and support they need.”