Hamad Medical Corporation’s ( HMC) Dermatology Department will host awareness activities throughout September highlighting National Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Month to educate and inform the public about the challenges of atopic dermatitis (eczema).
The activities will be hosted in three locations within HMC namely Dermatology Department, Department of Geriatrics in Rumailah, and the Women's Wellness and Research Center. These activities focus the general public, patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals and other individuals interested in learning about eczema and its management.
The objectives of the awareness activities include raising awareness about the prevalence of eczema in Qatar and its impact on various age groups, in addition to highlighting the specialised Atopic Dermatitis clinic at the Dermatology Department in Rumailah, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, and the significance of addressing the psychological impact of eczema on patients, particularly the younger population.
Throughout September, various activities including informative sessions about eczema, its prevalence, and available treatments, awareness campaigns, discussions, and interactive activities such as digital skin analysis devices will be held. Patients and caregivers will receive education about the disease and its associated psychological effects, especially for children and adolescents.
Prof Martin Steinhoff, chairman, Dermatology Department stated that the awareness month marks an opportunity for both patients and clinicians to become more involved in spreading the word about eczema and ensuring that all patients receive adequate treatment.
“This awareness month activities aim to educate and inform the public about the challenges faced by those affected by eczema, which is considered among the topmost common dermatological diseases observed in the Dermatology Department, Rumailah Hospital, HMC.
According to him, the prevalence of eczema in Qatar is estimated to be around 15 to 20% among children, 10% among adolescence, 5% among adults, 1 to 3% among the elderly population, and it is notably recognised as the most common pregnancy dermatoses among pregnant women.
“We are proud to offer a specialised Atopic Dermatitis Clinic to support people affected by atopic dermatitis in Qatar. This clinic is committed to providing the most recently approved treatments aligning with international standards in dermatological care. Furthermore, we provide education for patients and caregivers about the disease, its associated comorbidities especially for children and adolescence with psychological impact associated with eczema,” he said.
Dr Sara Saleh al-Khawaga, specialist, Dermatology & Venereology Department, HMC and lead of Atopic Dermatitis Awareness Month Organising Committee, explained that eczema is a condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin. It is common in young children but can occur at any age. “The skin condition is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare sometimes. It can be irritating but it's not contagious. People with atopic dermatitis are at risk of developing food allergies, hay fever and asthma,” she noted.
Dr al-Khawaga noted that that the specialized Atopic Dermatitis Clinic at the Dermatology Department-Rumailah provides approved treatments aligned with international standards. “Patients and caregivers can avail the services by scheduling appointments at the clinic and seeking education about the disease and its management,” she added.
Prof Martin Steinhoff
Dr Sara Saleh al-Khawaga