(Family Features) More than 30 million Americans, including nearly 10 million children, have eczema, the umbrella term for a group of noncontagious, inflammatory and painful skin conditions marked by an itchy, rash-like appearance. Because one of the most challenging aspects of eczema can be its unpredictability, the National Eczema Association (NEA), designed an app to help people and parents easily track what’s important and make sense of it.
The app, called EczemaWise, aims to revolutionize how people living with the condition manage it with a faster, more efficient tracking system that helps uncover trends and makes preparing for doctors’ appointments easier.
People with eczema tend to have an overreactive immune system that produces inflammation on the skin when triggered by a substance outside or inside the body, such as food or pollen, along with factors like stress and sleep. Experts say tracking and recording symptoms and possible triggers is key to managing the condition, but it can be time-consuming, and many people struggle to keep thorough notes in journals or on their smartphones.
“One of the best things out there to help keep track of your child’s eczema is EczemaWise because it’s so easy to use,” said Aisha Bryant, mother of a 3-year-old with eczema. “Within a few days of using it, I was able to identify that tomato sauce was causing my daughter to flare.”
The app can help track nine different disease and care factors, including:
- Itch intensity on a scale of 0-10
- Pain on a scale of 0-10
- Skin symptoms using a body map to note affected areas
- Stress on a scale of 0-10
- Sleep problems on a scale of 0-10
- Weather, which auto-populates using your location
- Triggers, which track exposure to materials such as metals, chemicals, irritants and environmental allergies
- Diet with tracking of water intake and foods
- Treatments logged by time of day
The free app, which is available for Android and iOS as well as a web app, is designed to identify trends and patterns so people and their doctors can better determine the most effective treatments. NEA recommends tracking a minimum of three times each week – and ideally daily – though people can log as many or as few factors as they like. App users can also print their health data to share at doctors’ appointments.
“Using EczemaWise will empower patients with eczema,” said dermatologist Eric L. Simpson, MD. “The app allows them to communicate a much broader story about their disease than we can typically capture in a 15-minute visit.”
For more information, visit EczemaWise.org.