New Eczema Therapies and Varied Approaches

The Dermatologist is excited to publish this special issue, Eczema & Atopic Dermatitis Treatment Today. It is a ground-breaking time in the development of therapies to treat eczema and atopic dermatitis (AD), with both new therapies and new approaches to treat the condition.

It is estimated that 31.6 million people in the United States have some form of eczema and 4.1 million adults (6%) have AD, according to the National Eczema Association.1,2 About 9.6 million (13%) children younger than 18 years have AD.3 Of this total, 3.2 million children (33%) have moderate to severe AD.3,4 Eczema greatly affects a person’s quality of life5 and also impacts their economic status.6-8 

This issue covers the latest news, and highlights notable trends in the industry in research and treatment. The cover story focuses on new therapeutics for eczema and AD, including updates on investigational new therapies to treat these skin diseases. Recent FDA approvals of therapies to treat eczema/AD are offering new treatment options for individuals living with skin disease. “After so many years of trying to help patients manage their disease with almost nothing that has labeling for this disease in the pediatric age group, we finally have an expanding pipeline,” said Elaine Siegfried, MD, professor of pediatrics and dermatology, Saint Louis University.

The article also looks at new and emerging therapies in phase 2 and phase 3 development, including phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, systemic therapeutics targeting AD immune pathways, and Janus kinase inhibitors.

Treatment is often effective with a supportive and multidisciplinary approach. The article Itch “Schools” Provide Patient-Facing Education and Support describes several education programs to interested patients with AD and their families. These programs are comprised of multiple weekly sessions that address proper skin care and support led by a professional team consisting of a dermatologist, a psychologist, a nutritionist, and a nurse practitioner. In addition, the programs facilitate peer interaction for those affected by eczema. 

“It’s important that our colleagues know that [itch treatment] is not just about medication; it’s also about relaxation techniques because stress plays an important role in aggravating itch. Identifying stress reduction techniques that work, and introducing them to our patients really helps,” explained Gil Yosipovitch, MD, director of The Itch Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. 

Sincerely,

Lisa B. Samalonis

References

1. Eczema prevalence in the United States. National Eczema Association website. https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-prevalence/. Accessed September 19, 2017.

2. Hanifin JM, Reed ML; Eczema Prevalence and Impact Working Group. A population-based survey of eczema prevalence in the United States. Dermatitis. 2007;18(2):82-91.

3. Silverberg J, Simpson E. Associations of childhood eczema severity: a US population based study. Dermatitis. 2014;25(3):107-114. 

4. Ballardini N, Kull I, Soderhall C, Lilja G, Wickman M, Wahlgren CF. Eczema severity in preadolescent children and its relation to sex, filaggrin mutations, asthma, rhinitis, aggravating factors and topical treatment: a report from the BAMSE birth cohort. Br J Dermatol. 2013;168(3):588-594.

5. Anderson RT, Rajagopalan R. Effects of allergic dermatosis on health-related quality of life. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2001;1(4):309-315.

6. Holm E, Esmann S, Jemec G. The handicap caused by atopic dermatitis – sick leave and job avoidance. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006;20(3):255-259. 

7. Misery L, Finlay AY, Martin N, et al. Atopic dermatitis: impact on the quality of life of patients and their partners. Dermatology. 2007;215(2):123-129.

8. Drucker AM, Wang AR, Qureshi AA. Research gaps in quality of life and economic burden of atopic dermatitis: The National Eczema Association Burden of Disease Audit. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(8):873-874.