The chronic skin condition, eczema, which is thought to affect around one in five Singaporeans is particularly hard on children. If poorly managed in childhood, the sufferer might be burdened by psychological issues throughout their lives. According to dermatologists at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, low self-esteem, anxiety, sometimes even depression could result from poorly managed eczema. This is why KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has teamed up with one of Asia’s leading speciality pharmaceutical companies, Hyphen Pharma, the School of Information and Technology, and Nanyang Polytechnic to come up with the iControl Eczema app.

App includes a daily eczema assessment rating system

The app allows the child and the parent to monitor the severity of the condition through a daily eczema assessment rating system, an eczema tracking calendar, and a progress chart. The app also lets the user set reminders for when to apply moisturizers or other topical medication regimen. The iControl Eczema app allows users to send or show their charts to their doctors, allowing for better management of the treatment they are currently receiving.

Most treatment regimens for managing eczema involve moisturisers to relive the itchiness and the rash, and topical steroid creams. Younger patients are prescribed with weaker formulations of steroid creams to avoid side effects. Sometimes, medications such as oral steroids and antihistamines are prescribed. Phototherapy, antibiotics, immune-suppressants, and antiviral medications are other forms of treatment options doctors recommend to patients.

The app was developed based on the Patient Eczema Severity Time [PEST] score pioneered by James M Mason, et al., which allows for the patient’s reaction to the severity of eczema to be factored in as well. As such, patients will be able to pick from a selection of ratings: normal, a little unhappy, quite unhappy, very unhappy, and lastly, extremely unhappy.

Perfect for children with eczema

Dr Mark Koh, who is the head of Dermatology Service at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, stated that the app is perfect for children with eczema, due to ease of communicating their own assessment of the condition on a daily basis. Parent with children who are too young to do so can also resort to the app to allow for better assessment, since the features of the rating system provide cartoon images which show emotions such as unhappiness and pain. This allows the children to choose their reactions based on the feeling embodied in the images.

However, doctors at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and partners say that the app is recommended for anyone who is suffering from the skin condition, not just children. The iControl Eczema app is available for free on Apple and Android platforms. MIMS

Read more:
The burden of childhood eczema
8 tips to care for a child with eczema
Daily baths for children with eczema followed by moisturiser
Umbilical cord stem cells may help treat eczema