Armagh boy's struggle with chronic skin condition that makes him look burnt

Conor Stapelton has suffered from severe eczema since he was a tot
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)

A Northern Ireland boy with a skin condition that makes him look burnt is hoping to meet other kids like him at an event coming to Belfast for the first time next month.

Nine-year-old Conor Stapelton from Co Armagh has suffered from severe eczema since he was a tot, with his skin constantly inflamed, red and painful.

The chronic skin condition covered him from head to toe, with his skin so red that people would often ask if he was burnt.

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The family from were at their wits end on how to help their boy when they found out about Eczema Outreach Support, a charity for children and young people with the condition.

Mum Maurica told Belfast Live: "We had been backwards and forward to the GP and dermatologists for years, trying everything available to help Conor but nothing was working for long. It was awful, I could hardly look at him some days as he was so sore looking.

"He would scratch until his skin bled and his sleep was always disturbed as he would wake himself up scratching. It impacted the whole family and I felt so helpless, knowing I couldn't take his pain away."

Conor as a baby with eczema
Conor as a baby with eczema -Credit:Submitted

But a chance advert on Facebook changed everything. Maurica's sister in Scotland saw an online ad for Eczema Outreach Support, a Scottish based charity offering help, support and advocacy for children with eczema all over the UK.

The charity was hosting an event in Scotland for families to meet up and also talk to a dermatologist so Maurica and Conor quickly signed up and booked flights to Scotland. The event gave families a chance to mingle and kids with visible eczema time to meet others like them.

Maurica said: "I learned more in that three hour event than I learned in seven years of hospital visits. The dermatologist gave me some amazing advice and talking to other parents was great, I got some tip that really helped Conor. I left the event absolutely beaming and it was so good for Conor to meet other children with severe eczema."

Conor during a flare up with his skin red and painful
Conor during a flare up with his skin red and painful -Credit:Submitted

Today Conor's skin is much more manageable and although he has flare ups, he is no longer in pain every day, thanks in part to the tips picked up at the EOS event.

The family then attended another EOS event in Newcastle and are now gearing up for Eczema Outreach Support to come to Belfast next month. The team will host an event at NICVA Conference Centre on June 8th.

The event is for children and young people with eczema and their families and will be a chance to meet others, ask questions and learn about caring for eczema. It is the first Northern Ireland event the UK wide charity has hosted and tickets are free for members of EOS - which is also free to join.

Maurica added: "I've learned so much from EOS and going to events, I can't recommend coming along enough if you have a child with eczema. It's been a lifeline for us - and I'm glad this event is local and will be so much easier to get to!"

Tickets for the Belfast NIVCA event are limited and only for members of EOS. Joining EOS is free for anyone with a child aged 0-17, you can join at

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