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Emerging Therapies Could Help Ease The Chronic Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis For Adults and Children
Date:3/5/2009

ition for months, on average, before a significant flare of dermatitis. Other studies show that using tacrolimus ointment or pimecrolimus cream intermittently at the first signs and symptoms of a flare-up was quite successful. These products may be especially useful for patients who otherwise would have more persistent or frequent recurring eczema."

Barrier Creams and Engineered Emollients

Barrier creams and engineered emollients are newer FDA-approved topical agents that are designed to improve the barrier function of the skin that is compromised in atopic dermatitis. They work by adding lipids, ceramides (natural lipids that act as water regulators) or other agents that help to make damaged skin more "normal." These topical preparations include water-based emulsion with N-palmitoylethanolamide; MAS063ADP, with glycyrrhetinic acid; and ceramide-dominant products.

"Barrier creams and engineered emollients appear very helpful in decreasing symptoms and the need for stronger prescription products, but these medications are fairly new and dermatologists are in the process of assessing their optimal use in atopic dermatitis treatment regimens," said Dr. Eichenfield. "Initial assessments demonstrate that the damaged skin can be improved showing less dryness due to less water loss, less inflammation and less need for more potent anti-inflammatory agents."

Systemic Therapies

For a significant subset of atopic dermatitis patients of all ages, systemic therapy is necessary to control their condition. While systemic therapies for atopic dermatitis pose safety concerns due to their potential side effects, Dr. Eichenfield reported that a few of the newer immunosuppressive agents and newer biologic therapies are being used successfully -- even in children.

"Newer immunosuppressives such as mycophenolate mofetil can be very useful in providing relief for patients wi
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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