"One of the hardest things is to see your child suffer. You just want to take the pain away"

“Two months into Gaelle’s life, her skin started looking red and angry and she was clearly very itchy. She was diagnosed with eczema. That was the start of six years of struggle.

One of the hardest things is to see your child suffer. You just want to take the pain away. To see a baby crying and in pain and not understanding why, that’s really hard as a parent.

It never felt like the treatments actually worked. At the time, in my head when something works, you’re well yet the flares kept happening. You question your ability as a parent and a carer.

She’d go to birthday parties in her cute princess outfit on top of full body bandages. People would ask “Have you hurt yourself? What happened to you?” We got used to educating people about eczema.

Over time, I realised that eczema is not really taken seriously. That’s a problem. People think it’s not life threatening like allergies or asthma but they don’t understand the impact.

When Gaelle was 5, she said to me she was the only scratchy girl in the world. That broke my heart but to be honest I was feeling the same and wondered how we could meet families like us. I thought: “they must want that too, but we have no way to connect”.

That’s when we had the idea of setting up this charity (Eczema Outreach Support). Breaking isolation makes a massive difference.

You see families coming to the charity’s events and they don’t know each other but then you see them again and they’ve formed a friendship, they support each other. This alone can change your outlook on life and help the whole family when dealing with eczema.”

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