A nurse from West Cumbria has inspired a new campaign to support NHS workers suffering from pandemic-induced eczema.
A combination of constant hand washing, harsh sanitiser gel, uncomfortable PPE and stress have all been cited as the reasons behind an “eczema epidemic” among NHS workers, identified by a study by the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy.
The research, presented by the British Association of Dermatologists, cited that six out of ten healthcare workers seen in occupational skin disease clinics had irritant contact dermatitis, with one in five so severely affected that they needed time off work.
Given that upwards of 210,000 healthcare workers are likely to be in this severe category, natural skincare brand Balmonds has announced an appeal for donations to their “Pay It Forward” scheme to help healthcare workers suffering from pandemic-induced eczema.
Public urged to donate
Balmonds are urging the public to donate £2.50 which enables them to gift a 60ml pot of skin salvation, their award-winning ointment, to healthcare trusts throughout the UK.
The all-natural emollient, which retails for £12.99, helps soothe stressed skin and can be used to help those suffering from eczema or dry skin conditions.
The scheme was inspired by Sophie Baudrand-Venables, an operations director originally from Whitehaven.
Her oldest friend Pol Donaldson is a staff nurse at the West Cumberland Hospital and was working on the COVID-19 intensive care unit during both waves. Throughout the pandemic, she has suffered from terrible skin problems.
“I found out about Skin Salvation, sent some to Pol and it was the only thing that worked on her constant skin sores,” said Sophie.
“I continued to keep her in a supply of skin salvation then wrote to Balmonds and said ‘this is what’s going on’ and asked them to consider turning it into an official scheme, which they did. I just wish more healthcare workers knew about it.”
Lucy Gulland, communities manager at Balmonds, said: “We were absolutely shocked to discover the huge numbers of healthcare workers who are suffering from eczema, dry skin, pressure sores from masks, and cracked, over-washed hands.
“Although lockdown is lifting, our NHS heroes are still having to wear masks and PPE and carry out their duties in incredibly difficult circumstances, the results of which are showing on their stressed skin.
“We’ve had some incredible feedback from nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers who’ve been astonished at how effective Skin Salvation has been for their PPE-sore skin. But we want to be able to help all the people who need it. Please get behind our scheme and pay the love forward.”