Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a chronic, itchy skin condition. AD affect 15-20% of all children, but can occur at any age. AD can present as red, inflamed, dry and thickened skin, or as wet oozing, blistering, inflamed skin. The mechanism of the disease includes an overactive immune response to environmental factors as well as exposure to factors which or genetic defect leading to disruption of the skin barrier.
Treatment for AD focuses on skin care and lifestyles which maintain a well hydrated skin. Adults with AD needs to drink at least the 3 litres of water per day, avoid soaps (bars and liquids), hot showers or baths, and stay with emollient cleansers such as Cetaphil, Aquanil, etc. AD patients should avoid contact, inhalation, and ingestion of substances to which the individual is allergic. Many AD patients develop contact allergy to nickel, chrome, cobalt, neomycin, formaldehydes, fragrance, dyes, and even to topical steroids. There are some AD patients who exacerbate when they ingest and/or inhale these chemicals. Many of these allergens are processed (sometimes off label) into skin and hair care products, laundry products, tobacco, drugs, and foods.
The mainstay for medications to treat AD is topical steroids. Other medications include topical calcineurin inhibitory agent, oral steroids, cyclosporine, UV light therapy, and biologics. Clinical trials are being performed for novel treatments for atopic dermatitis including topical as well as systemic treatments. Ameriderm Research, the research division of ADCS often participates in these studies.