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New hope for brave boy with skin condition

Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016

Harrison Ford with clinical nurse specialist Charlotte Walker.

Five-year-old Harrison Ford has proved to be as brave as his movie star namesake, fighting a severe form of eczema that leaves his skin looking literally burnt.

With the support of the Children’s Dermatology Department, Harrison’s skin has improved significantly.

Most children and adults are able to control their eczema through moisturisers, steroid creams or ultraviolet light. But when these treatments fail, patients like Harrison need tablets to manage their condition.

Lou Ford, Harrison's mum says: "Harrison was four months old when he started to develop a small rash on his cheeks. Things got progressively worse when we started weaning and introduced him to solids.

"The rash spread all over his body and took over his face. His hands and neck looked like snakeskin and kept getting infected."

Last year Harrison was referred to the Children’s Dermatology Department, part of St John’s Institute of Dermatology and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, to take part in a 15-month drug trial. He has been given a drug that controls the immune system in the skin.

Lou says that since joining the trial life for the whole family has improved.

She says: "Giving Harrison a bath used to lead to meltdown. He would be crying, screaming and using delaying tactics. Even if the water was cold, Harrison would complain that it was too hot. Bathing became really distressing for him and us.

"Harrison wouldn't go to bed because he knew that's when the majority of the damage would be done to his skin through scratching.

"But things have changed immensely now that Harrison is on the trial. He's happy to take showers and his sleep is so much better, which is better for all of us.

"The team at Evelina London have made us feel like we are part of a family. Harrison is not just another patient."

To find out more about eczema and the treatments available, for both adults and children, visit information stands on:

  • Tuesday 20 September, 11am to 2.30pm in Atrium 1, Guy’s Hospital
  • Wednesday 21 September, 11am to 2.30pm, Guy's Hospital main reception.
For more information about eczema visit the National Eczema Society website.