Talking Points for Meetings with Congressional Members
- Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I have a few issues of importance to the 31.6 million people living with eczema that I would like to bring to your attention.
- Eczema is a general term for the several types of inflammation of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects the skin. It is not contagious. In atopic dermatitis, the skin becomes extremely itchy. Skin infection often occurs.
- A substantial proportion of the US population has symptoms or eczematous conditions; 31.6 million people. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of infants and young children experience symptoms of the disease.
- Per patient, the costs average about $600 per year. On the whole, direct costs alone may exceed $3 billion per year.
- The cause of eczema is not known, but the disease seems to result from a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors.
- Eczema and Vaccination Against Smallpox – Although scientists are working to develop safer vaccines, individuals diagnosed with eczema should not receive the current smallpox vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a U.S. Government organization, individuals who have ever been diagnosed with eczema, even if the condition is mild or not presently active, are more likely to develop a serious complication if they are exposed to the virus from the smallpox vaccine.
- The National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin (NIAMS) needs more funding to proceed with research on this disease.
The National Eczema Association (NEA) improves the health and quality of life for individuals with eczema through research, support, and education. NEA is the only organization in the United States advocating solely for eczema patients.
Thank you for your time and your attention to these matters. Whom can we contact to follow up on these issues?