Itching for a solution

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 03 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:522
  1. Peter Lapsley, chief executive1 (
  1. 1 Skin Care Campaign, Highgate Hill, London N19 5NA

    Ashcroft et al1 illustrate a tension that exists between scientists and patients over the use of topical agents to treat atopic dermatitis, with doctors caught in the middle.

    It must be difficult for those without eczema to understand how frustrating and distressing it can be. Having developed atopic eczema in early childhood, I have been living with it for over 60 years. As a boy, the insides of my arms and the backs of my legs itched ferociously and incessantly. My face was dry, flaking, and sore. The area between my upper lip and nose was dry, cracked, and crusted, as was the skin around my ears. I scratched endlessly, and my appearance embarrassed …

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