-"It's hard to remember not to scratch."
-"If I had my wish I would use this big eraser to completely erase my
-"It feels like I'm standing in the middle of the desert being poked!"
MARKHAM,ON, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - These statements, graphically
depicted in the artwork of youngsters with eczema, help describe how
children are affected by a common and sometimes life-altering skin
condition, eczema. The "My Life with Eczema" national art contest is organized by the Eczema Awareness, Support and
Education (EASE) Program that provides free, non-commercial educational
material on eczema to sufferers, families and educators.
Why an art contest specifically for young eczema sufferers? In Canada
alone, twelve to 25 per cent of children suffer from eczema and its
accompanying pain, itch, sleepless nights and secondary infections1. Eczema can interfere with school because of difficulties in
concentration, cause low self esteem, and make sufferers feel
self-conscious about their appearance. Some children even avoid social
situations because of it. The contest was set up to give these
children an opportunity to express how they feel as well as to let them
know that they are not alone.
Unlike the vivid red tones that are associated with the itchy skin and
inflammation that characterizes eczema, the young artists used all of
the colours of the rainbow and a variety of mediums, including painting
and drawing, to showcase their feelings. Each also provided an
accompanying story on the challenges they face.
The submissions were judged by renowned Canadian cartoonist Lynn
Johnston of the iconic "For Better or For Worse" series, celebrated
Quebec multidisciplinary artist Lysanne Pepin, and three Canadian
dermatologists: Dr. Harvey Lui, Dr. Ron Vender, and Dr. Marlene Dytoc.
"It was amazing to see the creative ways in which these children used
art to represent their life with eczema," said Johnston. "Typically we
expect to see beauty in art but these works show us their frustration
and pain. We see reality."
"Judging these pieces is so, so difficult because we are not looking at
pretty pictures", said Pepin. "They've exposed their individual
feelings in their own way and style and I applaud them all."
The judging panel selected Maya Brassard from Comox, British Columbia as
the winner of the contest. She will receive a $1,500 Canada Savings
Bond to assist with her future education. Two other young artists,
Celeste Beaudette and Louisiane Camiré were named as finalists.
Please visit www.eczemacanada.ca to view the artwork submitted by contestants.
Between four to six million children and adults in Canada suffer from
eczema, a common, chronic, life-altering skin condition. Eczema
(atopic dermatitis) is characterized by painful red, swollen, itchy and
flaky skin. The majority of eczema cases are diagnosed in early
childhood, and it is estimated that while some children may eventually
outgrow eczema, about 80 per cent will have dry irritable skin
throughout their lives. The condition is associated with the immune
system's response to environmental irritants, as well as with
respiratory allergies and asthma. Environmental triggers are the most
common elements that cause flare-ups. In general, people with eczema
often have hypersensitive skin that does not tolerate certain topical
stimulants or environmental contaminants.
About the Eczema Awareness, Support and Education (EASE®) Program
The Eczema Awareness, Support and Education (EASE) Program is a national
and fully bilingual patient education program developed with the
assistance of leading Canadian dermatologists to provide access to
useful and accurate information about eczema. Supported through an
education grant from Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., the EASE Program has
been recognized with four Public Education Awards from the Canadian
Dermatology Association (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007).
The EASE Program website, www.eczemacanada.ca, offers information on eczema including tips on speaking to a child's
teacher about the condition, managing childhood triggers and how to
control the itch. Parents, teachers and young children can also visit www.pennysworld.ca - a fun, child-friendly website that aims to help children understand
1 Eczema Canada.Common Questions & Answers about Childhood Eczema. Date Accessed: January 25, 2011
SOURCE EASE PROGRAM
For further information:
1.888.764.6322 ext. 236