The Look At Me campaign calls for improvement in psycho-social care for patients with skin conditions

Look At Me campaign calls for better psycho-social support for people with skin conditions

Changing Faces’ Look at Me campaign raises awareness amongst health and social care professionals about the importance of psycho-social support for people with skin conditions. Our aim is to enable everyone with skin conditions to have the confidence to live the life they choose.

Our two campaign reports (September 2012 and October 2014) both highlight the need for better integrated care for people with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, vitiligo and acne.

More than 60% of people with skin conditions who were surveyed said they had never been offered the psycho-social support and advice they needed. We found that people with skin conditions often experience depression, anxiety, embarrassment, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and, in extreme cases, contemplate suicide. They have to cope with staring, intrusive questions and unhelpful or inappropriate comments.

Evidence gathered for our campaign shows that:

  • there is insufficient awareness amongst health and social care professionals that people with skin conditions would benefit from psychosocial support
  • the referral pathways are often inadequate and there are long waiting lists for psychological therapies
  • psycho-social interventions are not always as effective as they could be because the provider is not experienced in working with people with skin conditions.

Baroness Finlay, who chairs the advisory group for the campaign, said:

Anything that affects the way people look is deeply difficult to live with. It is the responsibility of our health services to help people cope in all areas of their lives, not just to offer medical treatment. It is particularly important that this is recognised as the NHS is re-organised. This campaign intends to ensure that the needs of individuals are addressed, that their confidence is restored and they can retain personal dignity.

What we want

The Look at Me campaign aims to ensure that healthcare professionals receive better training in psycho-social aspects of skin conditions and that psycho-social elements are included in all patient care guidelines and are seen as integral to care. We want commissioners of healthcare services to ensure that psychosocial care is not left out of provision.

Helping us to help you        

To find out more about how you can support the Look at Me campaign or to tell us about your experience of living with a skin condition, please contact Ivon van Heugten, Policy Advisor in Health, or call 0345 450 0275.