Australian-First Eczema Education Story-Book Launches For Aussie Kids
MSD, known as Merck in the United States and Canada, today welcomed the launch of Elliot’s Meditotz Adventures – a unique story-book designed to educate children in an interactive and visual way about effectively managing eczema.
Australia has a high incidence of eczema, with one in three young Australians affected by the condition1. The skin disease is most prevalent in children, with up to 85 per cent of affected children developing symptoms by age five2. However, eczema can occur in people of any age33. The prevalence of eczema has increased two-to-three fold in recent years in industrialised countries and research suggests that environmental and socioeconomic factors play an important role in the increase2,5.
Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure, written by doctors, peer reviewed by experts in the field and supported by Eczema Association of Australasia Inc., is a useful resource to help parents educate young children about their eczema. The story-book is the result of a collaborative effort between MSD and children’s healthcare education specialists Medikidz.
The educational story-book is based on the real life experiences of five-year-old Sydney-based Elliot, who lives with eczema. Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure is designed to explain the sometimes ‘more complex’ information about eczema in a format that children will easily understand and relate to.
Associate Professor Saxon Smith, Sydney dermatologist, Australia’s leading clinical researcher into atopic dermatitis and father to Elliot, says Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure not only benefits young children who are affected by eczema but also their friends, family and school community.
“I see parents and their children with eczema every day at my dermatology clinics. However, as a parent of a young son with eczema myself, I understand all too well the struggles and frustrations that come with managing the day-to-day ups and downs of chronic eczema,” said Dr Saxon.
“Whilst Elliot’s eczema is mild to moderate, perhaps the biggest challenge is repeatedly trying to explain to Elliot why we have to apply his moisturiser every day and use creams or ointments on the ‘itchy red patches’ of active eczema areas.”
“This is why I was excited to be involved in developing Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure. The cartoon nature of the educational story-book means I have been able to teach my son why his skin gets dry, itchy and red, as well as being able to show him how his daily general skin measures (moisturiser, soap-free wash and bath oil or short lukewarm showers) forms a complete approach to help him enjoy all his daily super hero adventures,” Dr Saxon concluded.
There are numerous ways to manage eczema which include avoiding aggravating factors, using emollients regularly and controlling the itch as much as possible3,4. Topical corticosteroids creams and ointments are also an important part of the treatment plan for most children – and also adults – with eczema4,6.
However, as Dr Saxon points out there are many misconceptions about topical corticosteroids amongst Australian parents in general, as well as ‘how much’ cream or ointment should be applied in the treatment of eczema1,5.
“Applying topical corticosteroids liberally – I suggest using the Fingertip Unit as a guide – is appropriate and recommended by dermatologists1, including myself. When managed effectively with topical corticosteroids, eczema flare up symptoms often resolve within 7-14 days6,” said Dr Saxon.
Cheryl Talent, president of Eczema Association of Australasia Inc., said educational resources like Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure are valued ways to explain to kids how to better manage their eczema symptoms.
“In amongst the bathing and moisturising routines, as well as the countless attempts to prevent wandering little hands scratching itchy skin areas, parents are often at a loss about how to teach their children about eczema,” said Ms Talent3.
“Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure is a wonderfully visual educational resource about eczema for children and also a great support tool available for all the mums and dads impacted by eczema.”
To order a free copy of Elliot’s Meditotz Adventure, visit the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. website – http://eczema.org.au/. To find out more about effectively managing eczema, talk to your GP or dermatologist.
For 125 years, MSD has been a global health care leader working to help the world
be well. MSD is a tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit msd-australia.com.au.
As the first global children’s healthcare education brand, Medikidz believes that all children deserve access to medical information they can understand. Through a series of full length Graphic Novel adventures, the Medikidz – Chi, Pump, Skindy, Axon, Gastro and Abacus – take children on a journey through Mediland – a planet in outer space shaped just like the human body – as they continue their mission to create a global community of young people who are informed, empowered, and health-aware. For more information, visit www.medikidz.com
About Eczema Association of Australasia
The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA), which is the only organisation of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, was founded in January 1994. The Association is a valuable source of knowledge and advice on a wide range of issues associated with the management and treatment of Eczema. The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc supports and educates Eczema sufferers and carers, along with the wider community, in all aspects of Eczema and its impact. For more information, visit www.eaa.org.au
1. Mooney, E., Rademaker, M., Dailey, R. et al. (2015) ‘Adverse effects of topical corticosteroids in paediatric eczema: Australasian consensus statement’, Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 56(4), pp. 241–51
2. Bieber, T. (2008) ‘Mechanisms of Disease Atopic Dermatitis. New England Journal of Medicine, 358, pp1483-94
3. Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. 2015. Eczema (atopic dermatitis). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/eczema. [Accessed 24 August 2016].
4. Strathie Page, S., Weston, S. and Loh, R. (2016) Atopic dermatitis in children. Available at: http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2016/may/atopic-dermatitis-in-children/ (Accessed: 3 August 2016).
5. Smith SD et al Med Today 2013; 14:47-52.
6. Dermatology Expert group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Dermatology Version 4. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited. 2015 www.tg.org.au.
Copyright © (2016) Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited. Level 1, Building A, 26 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113. DERM-1191912-0001. First Issued September, 2016.