The Eczema Society of Canada (ESC) is a registered Canadian charity, founded in 1997 by Dr. Bernice Krafchik and a concerned group of parents. We are dedicated to education, eczema awareness, providing support, and supporting research.
See our mandate in action - view our 2016 Program Summary
Our Mission Statement
We are dedicated to meeting the needs of those suffering with eczema by providing support, education, raising awareness, and supporting ongoing research activities. As well, we have a strong commitment to the continuing support of the medical community.
Board of Directors
Michelle Carroll (Treasurer, Past President) Past President of The Eczema Society of Canada, Entrepreneur, Parent of child with eczema.
Amanda Cresswell-Melville (President – Executive Director) Honours B.A., B.Ed., President of The Eczema Society of Canada, Teacher, Parent of two children with eczema and a patient herself.
Lesley Eisel (Secretary), RN, BA., Clinical Research Coordinator, Dermatology Clinic, Hospital for Sick Children.
Dr. Elena Pope, MSc, FRCPC, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Head, Section of Dermatology, Division of Paediatric Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
Dr. Miriam Weinstein, BSc, BScN, MD, FRCPC (Paediatrics & Dermatology), Staff Dermatologist, Hospital for Sick Children; Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Medical Education Co-ordinator, Section of Dermatology, Division of Paediatric Medicine.
A Message from the Executive Director: There is hope!
My son Nathan had severely dry skin since birth and was diagnosed with moderate eczema at three months of age. By six months, he was covered from head to toe in blood-red patches of bumpy, scaly, eczema. He would scratch until he bled, cry from the discomfort, and wake throughout the night. We saw a dermatologist, and the one percent hydrocortisone helped at first, but soon his skin was getting worse and worse. I felt completely helpless. My child was suffering right before my eyes, and I didn’t know how to help him. I felt that no one understood, and people minimized the severity of Nathan’s condition.
Nathan’s first birthday was marked with great joy but was shadowed with great distress, as his eczema was simply out of control. We were hearing conflicting information from doctors, friends, and family: "Don’t bathe!", "Bathe every other day", "Put oatmeal in the water.", "Put baking soda in the water!","Don’t use steroids!", and on, and on. I have mild eczema, and my husband suffers with hand eczema, but that was nothing to compared to the severity of our son’s condition. I finally found the website www.eczemahelp.ca , and got incredible support from Michelle Carroll, the president of the charity. We began by following the triangle of control, started following the bathing regimen at least twice daily, and found Dr. Miriam Weinstein at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Our lives, and especially Nathan’s, suddenly changed dramatically. His skin improved significantly within the first week. There was hope! He still has flares, and still needs his baths, moisturizers, and medicated treatment from time to time, but we’ve gained control over what once felt hopeless. We now struggle with anaphylactic allergies, and his eczema always needs great attention; but with diligence we keep him comfortable, his skin soft, and allow him to focus on being an active, healthy and happy seven year old.
Our daughter was diagnosed soon after she was born, but this time I knew exactly what to do, and by 18 months her condition was all but gone! She never had to suffer as Nathan did. Current research in eczema is looking at this very concept: "Can eczema be prevented in high risk patients who get early skin care intervention?".
There is no cure, but there is control!
Executive Director, The Eczema Society of Canada
Amanda Cresswell-Melville was an active volunteer and board member of the Eczema Society of Canada for two years before becoming the Executive Director.
Our daughter’s story began at birth. She was born with eczema on her toes which then progressed to the rest of her body. For eight years we went to general practitioners, dermatologists, homeopaths and naturopaths. We even put her on Chinese herbs. However, there was no cure, no control, pure frustration, itching, pain, and sadness for our daughter. Eventually she gave up all hope.
At that point we took her to Sick Children’s Hospital and were lucky enough to meet Dr. Krafchik. She put our daughter on "The Regimen" that finally spelled relief. There was still doubt in our minds that this would work. Dr. Krafchik explained that there was no cure for eczema, but we could control it.
So we stuck to it. Well, it is now many years later and by following Dr. K’s regimen daily, and I must stress daily, our daughter is living with great self-esteem, laughter, and well-controlled eczema.
Thank you Dr. Krafchik!
Michelle Carroll served as president of the Eczema Society of Canada, and continues her generous service as CFO and a member of the board of directors.