Have you ever had irritable and itchy skin from a sunburn, insect bite or skincare that has irritated you? In most cases, once the inflammation has gone, your skin will get back to normal. But imagine if you had to deal with chronically inflamed, itchy and stinging skin every day? This is the reality for the 1 in 3 Australians who experience eczema.
But according to Professor Rodney Sinclair in a recent podcast, the new eczema treatments being developed and trialled have helped even the worst cases of eczema.
How does eczema develop?
Professor Rodney Sinclair notes that two things occur when the skin barrier is damaged. Firstly, water leaves the skin leaving it dehydrated and secondly allergens enter the skin. This results in the body’s immune system becoming activating which produces inflammation and itchy skin. He explains, “people with eczema have a genetic alteration with the proteins that form the skin barrier. This means that the skin barrier functions normally but if it is damaged, it won’t repair fully.”
Usually every cell in the skin has two copies of the filaggrin gene, however people who are susceptible to eczema have only one copy of this gene. If you have a genetic predisposition to eczema, you will always have sensitive skin, but not necessarily experience eczema. Professor Sinclair notes, “in some cases, children who have had eczema for years and years grow out of it, however in later years it can resurface again.”
If you have skin that has been affected by eczema, Professor Sinclair suggests the following self-care treatments:
- Only have lukewarm showers or baths as hot water can aggravate the eczema
- Replace soap with products like sorbolene cream to wash your body and face
- Use several layers of bedding instead of one layer to avoid overheating in bed at night
How to treat mild to moderate eczema
The long established and effective treatments to treat eczema include cortisone and non-cortisone creams, but there is also evidence that bathing with bleach antiseptic (1/2 cup in one full bath tub) has reduced the presence of eczema.
New eczema treatments bring hope to eczema sufferers
Over the past few years, new eczema treatments have brought hope to people suffering from severe eczema. Professor Sinclair explains, “through molecular biology we can dissect the inflammatory process down into each one of the individual links in the genetic chain. We can then produce antibodies that will reduce that inflammation… These biologic therapies (injectables and tablets) are producing dramatic effects in people with severe, intractable eczema.”
Have you got severe eczema that hasn’t responded to conventional eczema treatments? You can find out more about new eczema treatments and our clinical trials by contacting us here or call the trials team on 0455 915 411.