Home > Subjects > Medical > How Common is Eczema in Australia?

How Common is Eczema in Australia?

How Common is Eczema?

Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is particularly prevalent in babies, arising in around 1 in 5 children under the age of 2 years. In older children and adults, it may also arise, although it typically increases with maturity. And though eczema may be handled and controlled successfully, there are currently no cures available.

How Common is Eczema in Australia?

Australia is among the countries where eczema or atopic dermatitis has the greatest incidence. In Australia, the current incidence of eczema is about 10 and 15 percent of the population. Latest​​ studies undertaken at the University of Melbourne found that eczema affects around one in three babies (38.5 percent). When their skin matures, most kids with atopic dermatitis develop out of the condition, although only 10 percent can continue to suffer​​ from eczema into adulthood.

Eczema does not differentiate between racial, social or economic classes. A steep rise was reported in the amount of occurrence of dermatitis over the past few decades, with no clear cause or explanation, especially in developing countries. In western cultures, a handful have correlated this with excessively hygienic activities. Many washing chemicals, ice pools, bubble baths, hot showers with a lot of soap and skin scrubbing every day, numerous hand washes and scrubbing with antibacterial soaps, for instance. They are physical "abuses" of the skin which, in essence, weaken the first line of protection against microorganisms, our skin barrier. As soap and bubble baths etc. may be a privilege that many would not be able to afford,​​ this may clarify the lower prevalence of dermatitis in underdeveloped nations.

The Eczema Association of Australasia reports that $425, with prices varying from $13.50 to more than $2,000 per user, is the total out-of-pocket sum expended on drugs per year​​ to treat one patient with AD. Eczema is a common, irritating and sometimes crippling skin condition that can take a major physical and emotional toll on sufferers and the quality of life of their caregivers, as Heather Jacobs, the National President of the Eczema Association of Australasia, says on their website.

Families Suffer

In Australia, eczema is increasingly growing, with as many as one in four kids contracting the condition before two.

Sufferers equate it to leprosy, although​​ dermatologists believe it is severely mistaken and has a significantly larger effect than most disorders on households.

A spouse and father of three, Brett McLennan living in Melbourne, claims he's been battling eczema for years with his family.

"My​​ father had it very badly when he was a kid, but there was no strong eczema medication back then, so he had creams placed on him and then he was covered overnight in plastic to avoid scratching himself," he said.

"And I had it very badly when I was a small​​ kid, particularly around the irritating areas of my body like the backs of my knees and my elbows. The skin will dry out and break, particularly when you're out in the heat and the sand in summer, so it was quite painful."

Mr. McLennan says the illness also affects two of his sons and his wife.

He says the impact eczema has on the everyday lives of citizens is still overlooked.

Which natural products can help soothe Eczema?

For soothing relief, we have some fantastic natural products here on Nourished Life​​ that is tailored for sensitive skin conditions. These are some of my favourites:

  • Coconut Magic Coconut Oil

  • Happy Skincare ‘Over the Moon’ Rich Repair Cream

  • Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream

  • Pai Calming Skincare Range

  • Manuka Biotic Range

  • Waters Co​​ Therapy Showers Filter Deluxe - With Shower Head


Scientists have come to a step closer to developing a cure for​​ eczema​​ after discovering how a deficiency in the skin’s natural barrier can trigger the painful condition.

To help explain why certain people experience atopic eczema, dry skin that sometimes develops on the wrists, within the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in infants, scientists have now expanded on this​​ information.

"We have shown that for the first time, filaggrin protein loss alone is necessary to modify main proteins and pathways implicated in causing eczema," said Nick Reynolds, a Newcastle University professor of dermatology.​​ 

"This study confirms the significance of deficiency of filaggrin, contributing to skin barrier function issues and predisposing someone to eczema.“

Professor Reynolds and his team said their results, reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may help drug​​ researchers determine the triggers of eczema and, rather than managing the symptoms, find a treatment for the disease.

Their study included the development of a human skin model in a laboratory, which they changed to create a filaggrin deficiency in the skin barrier using molecular techniques.​​ 

They then researched many other protein-affected biological pathways that regulate the structure of cells and stress responses and cause inflammation of the skin.

The researchers contrasted their results with the​​ way eczema-affected skin interacts and found important correlations.

Nina Goad of the Dermatologists' British Association said, "This current Newcastle study is important as it extends our awareness of how filaggrin influences other proteins and mechanisms​​ in the skin, which in turn cause the disease.", considering the level of triggers of eczema distress."

"This form of study helps scientists to create drugs that address the disease 's true root cause rather than only treating the effects. This is a vital piece of research

The study was carried out in conjunction with scientists at Stiefel, a pharmaceutical​​ firm.

1)​​ How common is eczema in Australia? | BHC Medical Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved from​​ http://bhcmedicalcentre.com.au/uncategorized/how-common-are-eczema-and-psoriasis-in-australia/

2)​​ Martin, P. E., Koplin, J. J., Eckert, J. K., Lowe, A. J., Ponsonby, A., Osborne, N. J., . . . Allen, K. J. (2013). The prevalence and socio-demographic risk factors of clinical eczema​​ in infancy: A population-based observational study. Clinical & Experimental Allergy. DOI:10.1111/cea.12092

3)​​ Osborne, N., Ukoumunne, O., Allen, K., & Wake, M. (2012). Prevalence of Eczema and Food Allergy is Associated with Latitude in Australia. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,129(2). doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.01.025

4)​​ Ponsonby, A., Glasgow, N., Pezic, A., Dwyer, T., Ciszek, K., & Kljakovic, M. (2008). A temporal decline in asthma but not eczema prevalence from 2000 to​​ 2005 at school entry in the Australian Capital Territory with further consideration of country of birth. International Journal of Epidemiology,37(3), 559-569. doi:10.1093/ije/dyn029

5)​​ Shah, N. (2015). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Confirmation of the association between high levels of immunoglobulin E food sensitization and eczema in infancy: An international study. F1000 - Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. doi:10.3410/f.720877298.793503699

6)​​ Su, J. C., Kemp, A. S., Varigos, G. A., & Nolan, T. M. (1997). Atopic eczema: Its impact on the family and financial cost. Archives of Disease in Childhood,76(2), 159-162. doi:10.1136/adc.76.2.159

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

sixteen − 12 =