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National eczema week: ‘I wanted to rip my skin off’

“There were days where I would have a complete meltdown and start clawing at it. I wanted to rip my ..



"There were days where I would have a complete meltdown and start clawing at it. I wanted to rip my skin off."

Anna Byard-Golds has had eczema all her life.

"I was aware at the age of four or five. I noticed my hands looked different and I could feel different to other children," she tells Newsbeat.

A survey by the National Eczema Society found 89% of adults with eczema feel it significantly reduces their quality of life.

A quarter of children with eczema have low self-esteem, according to parents who were surveyed.

"It's like rhino skin – cracked, rough and not pretty to look at," says Anna, who's 15.

Over a third of sufferers have had their education affected by the condition, according to the survey.

Anna's just gone back to school. But there have been many days over the years when she's just not wanted to go in.

"There's days I'd come home early because of it being so painful.

"It's hard to move, hard to write so I couldn't actually do the work or focus properly."

Her eczema would come up on her face in the morning, and it made her feel self-conscious.

"I didn't want people to see it. It was very embarrassing."

Growing up, Anna was bullied because of her eczema.

"Not only did I realise I was different, but I had other people telling me that I was as well."

She would wear baggy clothes to try to cover up because she didn't want anyone to see her eczema.

"And it really impacted on me because you don't feel normal."

One of the challenges the National Eczema Society survey highlighted was the social isolation having eczema could cause.

That was the case for Anna – she would still see her friends, but only indoors.

"It would usually have to be at my house or theirs, because going outside was just too embarrassing.

"Or moving around some days would be too painful."

It means having to call off plans, "which makes you feel annoying to others," she says.

"You feel like a burden sometimes."

Anna's coping strategies include putting on cream, listening to music and watching acting videos – her biggest passion is drama.

"When I was just me, I felt that I was being judged because of my skin, but when I was in character, I knew that I couldn't be judged, as I was someone else."

Part of the process is trying to build up confidence by "having the right mental attitude".

"It's taken me a while to realise that unless you have the right mindset, you really can't achieve what you want," she says.

She says it's important to let out your emotions.

"If you need to cry, then it's important to do it, and you have to talk to people about how you're feeling.

"There's days when you think, 'Why do I have to go through this?' It was on those days where the tears would set in."

Anna's switched to a new treatment which means she's in a better place now.

Despite the improvement of her hands from "looking like red gloves", it doesn't mean she's found a cure.

'It's not about curing it'

The National Eczema Society surveyed 530 adults with eczema and 524 parents of children (up to 16) for the start of national eczema week.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of adults said having eczema negatively affected their mental health.

Just over a third (35%) of parents said eczema prevented their children's school attendanceRead More – Source


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How does overeating affect the immune system?



Overeating is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. While it is widely understood that excessive eating leads to obesity and other health problems, many people are unaware of the impact that overeating has on the immune system. In this article, we will explore how overeating affects the immune system and what can be done to prevent or mitigate the damage.

The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against harmful substances and infections. It is responsible for identifying and eliminating harmful pathogens and other invaders that may cause harm to the body. When the body is functioning normally, the immune system works efficiently to keep us healthy. However, when the body is subjected to chronic stress, such as from overeating, it can become weakened, making it less effective at protecting the body against illness and disease.

One of the ways in which overeating affects the immune system is by increasing inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can have a negative impact on the immune system. Chronic inflammation is associated with a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of glucose and other harmful substances as a result of overeating, it can lead to chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.

Another way in which overeating affects the immune system is by altering the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and play a crucial role in maintaining good health. When the body is exposed to a high-fat diet, the balance of gut bacteria can become disrupted, leading to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and the suppression of beneficial bacteria. This can result in decreased gut function and reduced immune function, making it more difficult for the body to protect itself against harmful pathogens.

In addition, overeating can also lead to obesity, which is a major risk factor for a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Obesity is associated with a range of physiological changes, including insulin resistance and the release of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that play a crucial role in the immune response. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of cytokines, it can lead to a state of chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.

Finally, overeating can also affect the immune system by causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the body is exposed to an excessive amount of free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of glucose and other harmful substances as a result of overeating, it can lead to oxidative stress, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.

In conclusion, overeating can have a profound impact on the immune system. By increasing inflammation, altering the gut microbiome, causing obesity, and inducing oxidative stress, overeating can weaken the body’s ability to protect itself against harmful pathogens and other invaders. To maintain a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, and avoid overeating. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your immune system and reduce your risk of illness and disease.

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Homelessness and mental illness are two intertwined issues that have a complex relationship. Homelessness can cause or worsen mental illness and, conversely, mental illness can contribute to homelessness. It is a vicious cycle that can be difficult to escape, and it is important to understand the ways in which these two issues are interconnected.

Homelessness can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. Living on the streets can be a traumatic experience, with a constant fear of violence, theft, and disease. Homeless individuals often face stigma, discrimination, and a lack of privacy, which can lead to feelings of shame, hopelessness, and isolation. The stress and unpredictability of homelessness can trigger or exacerbate mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mental illness, on the other hand, can also contribute to homelessness. Mental illness can make it difficult for individuals to maintain employment, manage their finances, and maintain stable housing. Individuals with mental illness may struggle with accessing treatment and support, and the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness can also contribute to feelings of shame and isolation. These challenges can lead to a cycle of homelessness and mental illness, where each issue exacerbates the other.

There is a need for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness and mental illness. This includes providing safe and stable housing, access to mental health treatment and support, and addressing the underlying social determinants of health that contribute to homelessness, such as poverty, lack of education and job opportunities.

Housing First, a program that prioritizes providing permanent housing to homeless individuals before addressing any other issues, has been shown to be effective in reducing homelessness and improving mental health outcomes. This approach recognizes that stable housing is a critical foundation for addressing other issues, including mental health.

In conclusion, homelessness and mental illness are complex and interrelated issues that require a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address. Providing stable housing and access to mental health treatment and support is critical for breaking the cycle of homelessness and mental illness and improving outcomes for individuals experiencing these issues. It is important to continue to address the root causes of homelessness, including poverty and lack of access to education and employment opportunities, to reduce the prevalence of homelessness and improve outcomes for those experiencing it.

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Improving Reception For Children With Cancer – Basque Family Support Association



The association “Tous avec Agosti” wants 2023 to rhyme with new dynamics. For nine years now, the structure has been working to welcome families of hospitalized children in Bayonne. Since 2018, 47 families have been able to find some respite in an apartment in Anglet.

Apartment in Anglet

Since she has benefited from an apartment in Anglet, the association “Tous avec Agosti” has enabled nearly 50 families of patients hospitalized at the Center Hospitalier de la Côte Basque to stay close to their loved ones. This represents 600 overnight stays, 47 families from 23 departments and even from Belgium and Spain. At the beginning of 2023, the structure has just had its prefectural approval renewed and sees things big.

“We have been working in our area for years,” notes Frédéric de Arroyave, the association’s president, but “in 2023, we will show ourselves much more, on the markets for example, but also in acts. The apartment we have in Anglet is a haven of peace for families going through terrible times, but for some it is difficult to access”. The apartment is located on the alleys of the Jardins d’Arcadie, near Biarritz – Pays Basque airport. We want to get closer to the Bayonne hospital.

The association “Tous avec Agosti” was born in 2015. Agosti, 10 years old, is suffering from cancer and taken care of at Bordeaux hospital for 6 months. His father, Frédéric de Arroyave, living in Ahetze, has the possibility of integrating a parents’ house and can stay with his child. Such a structure did not exist in Bayonne, so he launched the project and the association which lives today thanks to donations from contributors and the dozen (very) active volunteers. Each year, approximately 4,000 children are hospitalized in Bayonne.

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