Understanding the Many Impacts of AD

Understand AD

By Kathryn Jones

Published On: Dec 7, 2020

Last Updated On: Nov 1, 2022

The impacts of poorly controlled atopic dermatitis (AD) — a chronic form of eczema — go far beyond the physical symptoms of intense, persistent itching, skin lesions and skin dryness, cracking, redness or darkness, crusting and oozing.

AD can affect many aspects of a person’s life, from our day-to-day functions at work and school, to our relationships with others, including friends, family and even our medical providers. We may often deal with insensitive or ignorant remarks about our skin.

Sam, a young woman living with severe AD, recalled feeling hurt and embarrassed when customers at her retail job would make insensitive comments about her eyelid eczema. “On my bad days, I would usually go up to my bosses and ask if I could work in the back that day, or maybe can I do paperwork, or any jobs where I’m not surrounded by people,” she said.

According to Danielle, an adult who is also living with moderate-to-severe AD, “It can be very intimidating because you have no idea how a company is going to react towards your disease. But you can count on me to be here. You can count on me to do my job. You can count on me to do exactly what everybody else in the organization does. I just have AD.”

“In my experience, being very upfront and open with my bosses helped me the most in my professional career,” said Sam. 

By helping people understand the many impacts of AD on patients and families, we are working together as a community to spread awareness and destigmatize this disease. That’s why the National Eczema Association is proud to partner with Sanofi and Regeneron on the Understand AD campaign.

Understand AD brings together different perspectives of real people with AD at various stages of life, as well as caregivers, to answer some of the most common questions about this disease and shed light on the physical, mental and emotional impacts.

The program includes a series of videos featuring dermatologist Dr. Mercedes Gonzalez, adult patients Sam and Danielle, and Ashley, the mother of a child with AD — who candidly share their thoughts and experiences with eczema to help other patients and families navigate the tough realities surrounding this disease.

“I had a mother who was fierce, and she always said to me, ‘You are normal. There’s nothing wrong with your skin,’” said Danielle. “I don’t allow other people’s feelings to affect how I feel about myself anymore.”

Watch these inspiring videos, download helpful resources for patients and caregivers, and learn more about moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis at UnderstandAD.com.


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