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Research Reveals New Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis

Posted: March 24, 2009

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“Newer immunosuppressives such as mycophenolate mofetil can be very useful in providing relief for patients with more severe cases of atopic dermatitis and have been studied for use in the pediatric population,” said Dr. Eichenfield. “In addition, dosing of azathioprine is now based on an individual’s genetics and metabolic activity to process the medication, allowing it to be used with less chance of dangerous side effects. Newer studies of the latest biologic therapies, such as efalizumab, show some benefits, but in general more research needs to be done to confirm the safety profile of all systemic therapies for this condition.”

Dr. Eichenfield added that given the new understanding of how atopic dermatitis develops in relation to barrier dysfunction, there is an interest in studying whether early intervention with a variety of topical therapies may impact the overall course and severity of atopic dermatitis and prevent or delay the development of other related allergies, such as food allergies and asthma, that affect many patients with atopic dermatitis.

“Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease that significantly impacts individuals and their families,” said Dr. Eichenfield. “Patients should consult with their dermatologist to determine whether any of the newer medications or generic medications can successfully manage their condition safely and effectively.”

For more information on atopic dermatitis, go to the EczemaNet section of www.skincarephysicians.com, a Web site developed by dermatologists that provides patients with information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is one of the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, go to www.aad.org.