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Home / World Allergy Week: 22–28 April 2018. An Itch that rashes

World Allergy Week: 22–28 April 2018. An Itch that rashes

by | Apr 10, 2018 | Press Releases, World Allergy Week

Allergy Week: A focus on Atopic Dermatitis – an itch that rashes

During World Allergy Week from 22 to 28 April this year the Allergy Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) will focus on raising the awareness, optimal care and how to best manage atopic dermatitis – also known as atopic eczema.

Atopic Dermatitis is a common, chronic, itchy skin rash. It affects all ages but usually manifests initially in infants and children.  These children do not sleep well at night and may not focus optimally at school. The rash often impacts on their cosmetic appearance and may become unpleasant when infected. Atopic dermatitis sufferers are frequently teased, bullied and excluded from social groups. They suffer physical and emotional consequences resulting in failure to learn to their full potential. Eczema requires frequent regular preventative emollient therapy to achieve optimal control. It can be the start of a progression of allergic diseases, known as the ‘atopic march’ and is often associated with other allergic conditions such as food allergies, hay fever, and asthma.

  • Allergies have increased dramatically over the past few decades, and we find ourselves in the middle of a possible “allergy epidemic”
  • A child without any family history of allergies is now at approximately 15% risk of developing an allergic condition within the first few years of its life
  • A child with a family history of allergies can be from 40% to 80% at risk

“Early intervention can help prevent or ease the atopic march,” said Prof Mike Levin, CEO of AFSA and head of Allergology at Red Cross Children’s Hospital “and it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis and care from an allergy specialist/allergologist or dermatologist as soon as possible.”

The effect on quality of life and the physical and psychological aspect and the burden, both socially and financially, should not be underestimated.

As a World Allergy Week incentive, AFSA will be releasing an accredited educational video on atopic dermatitis during world allergy week.  AFSA will also provide a link our World Allergy Week partner’s international webinar on 25 April 2018, where experts will be gathered to discuss atopic dermatitis. Topics will include diagnosis, treatment options, including new therapies, the association with food allergy and the atopic march, and the importance of skin care,” said Paul Greenberger, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Click here for more detail on how to manage atopic dermatitis and download the AFSA information booklet for free!

For expert help and advice on all allergy matters visit:, or contact Lynn at mobile: 081 405 8442.

For more information about World Allergy Week 2018 and atopic dermatitis, visit:

For media queries contact Paula Wilson on 082 659 9187 / or 021 789 1904


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