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National Jewish, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics Target Eczema

DENVER (CBS4) - A Colorado hospital is teaching some pediatricians how best to treat a chronic condition. They are targeting eczema, an itchy rash that can get so bad it affects the whole family.

4 On Your Side Health Specialist Kathy Walsh found out the experts at National Jewish Health are reaching out to clinics that serve people who struggle to get proper care.

Children with eczema are so miserable they often scratch and rub uncontrollably, but thanks to an educational grant, doctors in clinics that serve the needy are learning what may stop the itch.

Avinadi Rivera-Duran has an itch he just can't scratch.

"You have no idea. I went through tons of lotions. I bought everything that got in my way … I tried my best," Avinadi's mother Maritza Duran told a doctor about her son's eczema.

The 17-month-old was born with eczema, a disease that causes itchy, inflamed skin. His just keeps getting worse.

"If you can see right now, he's desperate. He wants to scratch himself, and if I don't pay attention to him, he'll do it and bleed ... bleed like crazy," Duran said.

Eczema is a chronic condition and about 17 percent of children suffer from it. But in severe cases, the whole family suffers.

"When it's bad, it can be really bad," Dr. Sophia Meharena with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics said.

"It's all the time, all day, day and night, every day," Duran said.

Avinadi and his mother went to the right place for help. Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics are zeroing in on eczema by using the expertise of National Jewish Health.

Meharena and others are training. They've learned tips for better treatment, like bathing often.

"Staying in the water 10 minutes when you have eczema is actually good for the skin to allow it to hydrate," Meharena said.

The partners have created pamphlets and iPad videos for desperate parents.

"We're going to try the new method. I hope everything goes just the right way and I hope he gets better because look at him, he's just going crazy," Duran said.

National Jewish experts suggest those with eczema "soak and seal" -- soak the skin, and then within three minutes seal in the moisture with lotion.

The hope is the educational partnership will help doctors teach parents and children in need how best to manage their itchy condition.

LINK: Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics

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