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Here you will find reviews of books and other literature we parents have read in our search to better understand the eczema and allergy world. We hope it may help you in your search.

 


The Eczema Solution
Author: Sue Armstrong-Brown. 
Published: 2002
Reviewed by Fleur M.

The author is an environmental scientist. She has had Atopic eczema all her life.
She has attended the dermatology clinic at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London and is a convert to it's successfulness based on her own experince. The clinic runs an eczema programme that is based on a programme developed by a Swedish dermatologist. The programme is designed to enable you to learn about your eczema, control it and get rid of it for good. The book states that chronic eczema can be cured but the atopy condition that causes eczema, hayfever and asthma can not.

In the book the author explaines the programme and each chapter is set out as if the reader were attending a clinic “appointment” The programme uses a three level approach; Emollients, Steroids and Habit Reversal (stopping the scratching!) 

This book made a lot of sense to me. The only issue for me is the programme seems to be used for adult patients and a method for children is not mentioned. Never the less I adapted the habit reversal techniques for my 31/2 year old with good effect. It gave us another tool to use in trying to interupt the itch scratch cycle. 

The book has a friendly, positive, supportive voice. The language and terminology are clear and easily understood. It is a  relatively quick read.

Eczema in Childhood.The Facts.  
Author: David J Atherton.
Published: 1994.
Reviewed by: Fleur M.

The author is a consultant paediatric dermatologist at the Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street, London. He is also involved in research into the causes and treatments of eczema. 

This book is written for parents of effected children. It explains what is currently known about the causes and treatments of eczema. It details both traditional and complimentary therapies. 

The book is very comprehensive. It has the usual chapters on normal skin  and eczematosis skin, what atopy is, causes and treatments. It also has chapters on skin infections, other problems in children with eczema, immunisations, living with an eczema child, what your child needs to consider when planning education and their career and looks at the idea of eczema and heredity. As well as other information. 

It contains colour photographs of severe eczema, different types of eczema and infected eczema. There is a lot of information in this book and I tended to dip into it and read chapters that interested me first rather than read cover to cover. Having said that it would be best to start with the first four chapters of skin structure, eczema, atopy and atopic eczema before going on to eczema conditions. 

I found the chapter “Living with an Eczematous Child” helpful, refreshingly honest and practical in light of the fact it is written by a medical expert. The author seems to have a good understanding of the stresses of living with a child with eczema. The language is clear and the chapters are divided into manageable chunks.

 

Eczema-Free for life
Author: Adnan Nasir and Priscilla Burgess
Published: 2005
ISBN: 0-06-072224-X
Reviewed by: Chris Z.
 

This is my first book that I have read about Eczema and to be honest I have been impressed to the extent that I purchased another book on Eczema (which wasn’t any good but that is another book review) 

The author, Adnan, teaches dermatology at Duke University and has extensive experience with dealing with eczema both with children andadults. The book starts with a very good layman’s explanation of the physiology of skin and how eczema skin differs from normal skin; apparently those with eczema have up to 20 defective chromosomes. He outlines why those who suffer from eczema get the itch with their immune system overreacting by misinterpreting messages. The book also looks at daily skin care routine; environment factors; caring for yourself or a child (with eczema); and lastly a good summary of current research on Eczema with some insight into future therapies.

The highlight for me was the physiology of skin that I found sointeresting that I have been pushing this information onto my workcolleges as if my life depends upon it. It however has been useful as it does give you some understanding on what you are trying to do with the different treatments. The chapter on research was particularly beneficial as it proves information on which treatments have been found to be or not to be effective. It ,however, also shows how muchis unknown about eczema treatments. For example, did you know that it hasn’t been proven that creams and ointments actually work? It however has been assumed that it is a given, but it doesn’t help that no research has gone into evaluating the most effect cream or ointment (there are about 30 different type of creams and ointments that doctors can prescribe). 

If you were going to read one book on Eczema pick this one. 

(Priscilla Burgess is a journalist-Fleur M.)

 

Food Solutions-Eczema Recipes and Advice to Provide Relief
Author: Patsy Westcott
Published: 2000
ISBN: 0600601579
Reviewed by: Fleur M

This book is divided into the following sections;
The Skin
Understanding Eczema
Controlling the Symptoms
Orthodox Medical Treatments
Complimentary Treatments
Food and Eczema
Elimination Recipes
Healthy Eating.

Although the information in this book covers people of all ages with eczema , I found the recipes were adult focused and I'm not sure many kids would find them to their tastes. Otherwise, good clear information that is worth a look especially the section on complimentary treatments.

 

Sing-Song
Author: Anne Kennedy
Published: 2003. Auckland University Press
ISBN: 186940 2952
Reviewed by: Fleur M

Anne Kennedy lives in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a screenwriter and reviewer. She has published a novella, two novels and many short fictions. She has won two awards, the BZN Katherine Mansfield Short Stroy Award and the ICI Award. She was also a Literary Fellow at the University of Auckland.

Wow-what can I say! This book of poems describes the life of a mother caring for a child with eczema in all its facets. So many bells rang for me when reading these works. Kennedy has distilled every emotion of the eczema journey into the simple language of her poems. A bit of dark humour peeps out amongst the sadness and frustrations.

The book should be read from front to back rather than dipping in and out at radom places as it follows the chronology of her life as an eczema mum. The poem "I Am (2)" had me crying with it's all too familiar description of a typical night in my house. Here is one verse from "I Am (2)"

They're all squashed in there
baby scratching and crying
Mother smoothing and cooing
father sleeping, holy family.