THE mum of a schoolgirl who suffered badly from eczema has welcomed Scotland being the first nation in the UK to approve a new drug to treat the skin condition.

Scottish Medicines Consortium ruled RINVOQ, from pharmaceutical company AbbVie, can be prescribed on the NHS for people aged 12 and over that have tried other means of treatment such as steroid creams.

Kirsteen Carroll, from Kirkintilloch, hopes it will provide relief to Scottish families coping with the lifelong condition.

Her daughter Olivia, 11, was diagnosed with eczema as a baby after months of her skin flare-ups being treated as cradle cap or nappy rash.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

After her diagnosis, the family started years of unsuccessful treatments.

Kirsteen said: "We have tried dozens of treatments over the years, from mild steroids right up to the most potent ones. We have tried so many moisturisers, emollients, creams and even bandages and special clothing just to give Olivia some relief.

"She gets so sore and will itch her skin until it bleeds, often her bedding would be covered in blood from scratching so much and as a parent, it is awful to see, you just feel so helpless."

The family were referred to Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children's dermatology department where the treatments continued but still Olivia found no relief.

Glasgow Times:

She was hospitalised twice with infected skin and had to be put on IV antibiotics to get her skin under control and has missed out on activities like swimming when her skin has been flared.

Last year, dermatologists prescribed methotrexate, an immunosuppressant, which has finally worked for Olivia and her skin is now better than ever.

Glasgow Times:

Kirsteen said: "We finally found relief after years of dermatology appointments and more treatments than I can even remember but some families aren't so lucky.

"If it didn't work, we would be running out of options, so it is great that there is now another treatment for people with eczema and it's great Scotland has approved it first.

"Eczema is such a misunderstood condition, people would often ask what was wrong with Olivia's skin and ask if it was contagious. For an 11-year-old girl, it's so hard to be different and she would ask all the time why she was the only child in school that suffered the way she did.

"It affects every minute of her life. If she is having a flare, it's so hard to concentrate and she will be in pain.

"If her skin is good, it's always a worry about how to keep it good. The slightest thing like a new hand wash or the wrong washing powder can set her skin off and can take days to get the skin back under control."

The Carroll family are members of Eczema Outreach Support, a charity that helps more than 3000 children and young people with eczema and their families.

Christine Roxburgh, CEO of the charity, also welcomed RINVOQ approval.

She said: “People with severe eczema often suffer from extremely itchy, cracked, and dry skin over much of their body.

"Working with adolescents who have severe eczema we see the impact it has on a daily basis for them and their families. It can affect their education and work opportunities, their daily activities, sleep, self-esteem and mental health.

"Despite the availability of several treatments, there is still a large unmet need, especially for adolescent patients, and Friday's approval will provide another option for people in Scotland who most urgently need it.”