Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Topical Immunomodulators Prove Effective in Treating Eczema Patients Itching for Some Relief

30.07.2004


For the estimated 15 million Americans with eczema – a chronic skin disease in which the skin becomes itchy with red patches of inflamed skin – finding effective, long-lasting treatments was a difficult and frustrating process. Now, two new non-steroidal medications recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are improving the quality of life for eczema patients of all ages and offering hope as potential treatment options for patients with other hard-to-treat skin conditions.



Speaking at ACADEMY ’04, the American Academy of Dermatology’s summer scientific session in New York, dermatologist Nancy J. Anderson, M.D., a professor of dermatology and residency director at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., presented new research on the effectiveness of topical immunomodulators for treating vitiligo, psoriasis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Winning the Battle Against Eczema


Until recently, topical corticosteroids were the mainstay for treating eczema. While effective, patients treated with these medications reported a number of side effects including thinning of the skin, formation of dilated blood vessels, stretch marks and infection. The introduction of two new topical immunomodulators – pimecrolimus and tacrolimus – provided eczema patients with a steroid-free alternative to traditional therapies, without these common side effects. When applied topically in a cream ointment, these therapies produce powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the skin without interfering with the body’s immune system.

“Short-term and long-term studies of both pimecrolimus and tacrolimus show that both medications are safe and effective for eczema patients of all ages, even infants,” said Dr. Anderson. “Being able to treat infants as young as three months old in studies is an important development, as approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of all infants have eczema and many may require long-term or even lifelong treatment for their condition. However, presently they are FDA-approved for children age 2 and older.”

In addition, Dr. Anderson explained that pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are being studied as viable new treatment options for a number of inflammatory skin diseases.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a disease in which patients experience a complete loss of pigment in localized areas of the skin, causing sharply bordered white patches most commonly around the mouth and eyes. As a result, vitiligo can be cosmetically disfiguring – particularly in dark-skinned individuals.

While current treatments for vitiligo include phototherapy, topical or injected corticosteroids and laser therapy, results have been marginal in some cases and not without side effects. Now, early studies show that tacrolimus is safely and effectively repigmenting the skin in vitiligo patients.

In a study published in the May 2003 Proceedings of the Society of Investigative Dermatology, 19 vitiligo patients were treated twice a day with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment over a course of 24 weeks. At the conclusion of the study, 79 percent of patients experienced varying degrees of repigmentation. In addition, 65 percent of patients achieved greater than 75 percent repigmentation of the face or neck. Throughout the study, patients reported minimal signs and symptoms of irritation from the medication.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inherited skin disorder affecting an estimated 7 million Americans. The disease appears as red scaly lesions or plaques, and is commonly found on the knees, elbows, trunk and buttocks. Traditional therapies include topical creams or ointments, oral medications, phototherapy and laser and light-based therapies.

A recent study of 21 patients with psoriasis on the face and intertriginous areas (or frictional fold areas) examined whether 0.1% tacrolimus ointment could significantly improve the condition. Patients were treated with the medication twice daily for eight weeks, and at the end of the study 81 percent of patients had complete clearing of their psoriasis. Side effects were limited to itching and a feeling of warmth at the site where the medicine was applied, experienced by only two patients. The study was published in the April 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Nickel-induced Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Following poison ivy, metal allergy is the most common form of allergic contact dermatitis. Nickel, which is found in costume jewelry, watchbands, clothing fasteners such as zippers, buttons and snaps, and virtually all common metal objects, accounts for the majority of cases of metal allergies. In fact, approximately 16 percent of all individuals who are patch tested for allergies turn out to be allergic to nickel.

In a study published in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 19 volunteers with a known hypersensitivity to nickel were purposely exposed to the metal on their upper arms. When the nickel was removed from the skin after 48 hours, the allergic reaction developed over the next 48 hours on the volunteers’ arms before beginning treatment with either 0.1% tacrolimus ointment or placebo administered twice a day for two weeks.

“Since this study involved a forced exposure to nickel and in real life patients are oftentimes re-exposed to allergens, volunteers were intermittently exposed to the metal allergen during treatment,” explained Dr. Anderson. “At the conclusion of the study, topical tacrolimus 0.1% ointment was found to be effective in treating allergic contact dermatitis caused by the nickel allergen in 16 of the 19 volunteers with minimal side effects. These results demonstrate that tacrolimus could be an effective long-term therapy for patients with persistent metal allergies.”

A similar study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology in 2001 showed in 66 healthy adult males that 1 percent pimecrolimus reduced the signs and symptoms of nickel-induced acute contact dermatitis safely and effectively.

Additional studies of tacrolimus and pimecrolimus are being conducted to determine their effectiveness in treating other common dermatoses. “Topical immunomodulators are revolutionizing how dermatologists treat skin conditions,” said Dr. Anderson. “These medications are not only easy to use, but they produce rapid results with minimal side effects. Patients finally have a new ally on their side when fighting the physical and psychological effects of skin disease.”

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 14,000 dermatologists 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, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM (3376).

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.aad.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>