Two thirds of UK eczema patients don’t understand that bacteria play a crucial role in their condition despite studies showing that Staphylococcus aureus is present on the skin in of more than 70 percent of patients, according to research from Gladskin.
This gap in disease knowledge could be leading to misinformed treatment choices, with 40 percent of the patients not satisfied with their current treatment, and a fifth stating that their symptoms are continuously present. Thirty-seven percent of eczema patients never see an improvement in their condition, this figure increases to 49 percent in more severe patients.
Antibiotics are rarely used for treatment because they are known to take a ‘blanket’ approach by killing both the good and bad bacteria on skin. Also, their use induces resistance, making them unsuitable for long-term use. Increased education and information is key so that patients are aware of alternative treatments.
For example, Staphefekt is an enzyme which targets only S. aureus bacteria, leaving the rest of the microbiome intact. Produced by Dutch biotech company Micreos, this enzyme, also called an 'endolysin', is the active ingredient in a series of new creams and gels marketed under the Gladskin brand for people with inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema.
In the new survey of 270 patients and 48 caregivers in the UK, about 80 percent of patients experiencing at least one flare-up in the past year, 90 percent in more severe cases. The physical impact inevitably takes its toll psychologically, as 60 percent admits their eczema has a substantial emotional and social impact, noting the condition as the source of embarrassment, depression and self-consciousness. Notably, more than a fifth of patients are too embarrassed to speak up and over a third of moderate to severe patients feel depressed.
The research was carried out by market research company Brandkraft in several European countries on behalf of Gladskin.