Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is often a chronic skin condition that can have a significant impact on quality of life. According to the National Eczema Association, at least 17.8 million Americans suffer from atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis most commonly presents during childhood but can present well into adulthood as well. The condition is characterized by an itchy pink, dry rash that often leads to cycles of itching and scratching that are hard to break. There is significant ongoing research into the cause of eczema, which is fueling research efforts into advanced treatment options for patients.
First-line treatments for atopic dermatitis typically include topical medications and/or phototherapy. For more severe conditions of atopic dermatitis, systemic immunomodulatory medications may be used. These systemic immunomodulatory medications may not be effective for everyone and the duration of use may be limited due to toxicity. New injectable biologic medications have been approved to treat atopic dermatitis, but do not help many get their atopic dermatitis under control. Researchers are currently studying new, more targeted, oral biologic medications that may prove to be more effective in controlling atopic dermatitis and have few safety issues.
Medicine is advancing quickly to aid sufferers of atopic dermatitis. Talk to your physician about treatments best suited for you and new options available through clinical trials in your area.