Eczema sufferer takes advantage of telehealth
The Australasian College of Dermatologists has launched a new five-step guide helping people with skin conditions prepare for dermatology appointments via telehealth on World Skin Health Day, October 14.
The college has used the example of a Blackwall man, Mr Jamie Chesworth, who has maintained contact with his Canberra dermatologist with telehealth appointments.
College president Associate Professor David Francis said the program brought sufferers like Mr Chesworth valuable connection and support to specialists.
"In 2020, the significant and unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19 have demanded a new, integrated and innovative approach to skin health care," Mr Francis said.
"We are highlighting the value of these flexible approaches in improving Australians' access to appropriate dermatological care, and the role that telehealth has played in achieving that."
Mr Chesworth travels back and forth to his dermatologist Dr Diana Rubel in Canberra and has started telehealth appointments.
He said telehealth was an invaluable resource that he believed had primarily contributed to his chronic eczema improvements and had helped with the costs involved.
"Telehealth isn't about changing the drug dosages.
"It's about checking in with how I'm feeling physically and mentally.
"We can get that done over the phone which is a lot easier," Mr Chesworth said.
"It helps make everything much more manageable to have the telehealth check-up every second appointment.
"It's all about that connection.
"I know that Dr Rubel is there.
"Even though she's in Canberra, she doesn't seem that far away."
Mr Chesworth said his chronic eczema had held him back a lot in life and had previously struggled to find real relief from pain after countless trips and treatments at hospitals.
For years, Mr Chesworth self-managed his eczema, until finding support groups like Adults with Eczema and Eczema Support Australia through social media.
"I found all these like-minded people, who had gone through the same experiences as me," Mr Chesworth said.
"They also connected me to Dr Rubel."
Mr Chesworth said he had now been treated by Dr Rubel for six months and is already seeing improvements.
He hopes that these improvements will eventually lead to many more moments enjoying the sun and surf down on Umina Beach.
"I love the beach, and I love being in the water, but it is dependent on my skin," Mr Chesworth said.
"I'm feeling much better now than how I was a year ago."
Media Release,14 Oct 2020
David Francis, Australasian College of Dermatologists
Interview (Hayley McMahon), 14 Oct 2020
Jamie Chesworth, Blackwall