Not everyone has a pet name for their eczema, but actress and TV presenter Nadia Sawalha called hers ‘my John rash’ after a mild attack was triggered as a 17-year-old after she broke up with her boyfriend.
And as mysteriously as the skin condition arrived, it disappeared. But then, in 2002, at the age of 39 and six months after the birth of her first daughter Maddie with TV producer Mark Adderley, Nadia noticed tiny bumps on the little finger of her left hand.
Known as vesiculation, these bumps are a classic symptom of eczema, as is the erythema or redness that next appeared.
‘The bumps began to itch before splitting open and weeping,’ she says. ‘They quickly spread to the rest of the hand and then to the other one, too. They were red raw. I looked like something from a horror film.’