Fighting together: Laura’s story

No one looking at Laura would know that she’s been through the fight of her life. The 24 year old events manager is recently engaged, but she’s suffered from eczema since childhood. When she turned 21 years old, her eczema returned with a vengeance, spreading over vast parts of her body. Laura says she wouldn’t have got through it without the support of her family and friends.

Laura smiling

"People think that eczema is just an itch, but it feels like things crawling under your skin"

Known medically as atopic dermatitis (AD), the condition can be severe, with widespread inflammation. The itching associated with AD can cause discomfort, disrupt sleep and affect quality of life. 

Research has found that 40 per cent of adults with the condition suffer depression and anxiety, 85 per cent have trouble sleeping, and nearly half report that the disease has affected their relationships.²

Laura says that eczema impacted every part of her life. Walking was difficult. Sleep was impossible. It was exhausting. It was a very traumatic time in her life. There were times when she felt she couldn’t put up with it any longer, but the support and understanding from her loved ones really helped her through the most difficult times with eczema. 

Laura is grateful for her family and friends who supported her. Her dad sat with her at three o'clock in the morning when she couldn't sleep and was crying and would hold her hands to stop her from scratching. 

Laura and her dad on a bench
"If my dad hadn't pushed for me to go to other doctors or seek other treatments, I don't know what would have happened"
Her fiancé Cameron said it was an eye-opener to him to see how much Laura suffered and how debilitating eczema is – and that’s why eczema needs to be taken seriously. He says, “don't listen to people who say just get over it, just put a cream on it.”

Laura agrees that however difficult eczema becomes, it’s important to ask for help. “Always keep asking for something more and also acknowledge that you know your skin and your body better than anybody.”

References


¹. ASCIA 2019, Fast Facts: Atopic Dermatitis.
². ICCDR. 2018. Atopic Dermatitis Australian Study. PEEK. 1:4. Available at: https://www.cc-dr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018AUADE_FULL-REPORT.pdf