Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition that affects both children and adults.
Although the exact cause of eczema is still unknown, the condition is believed to be related to genetics. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and typically include dry, flaky patches of skin that can be itchy and may become infected.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new topical treatment called Eucrisa to help adults and children better manage these symptoms. Here is an overview of what this new medication is and how it might be able to help you get healthier, more comfortable skin:
What Is Eucrisa?
Eucrisa, also called crisaborole, is an FDA-approved ointment used to treat mild to moderate eczema in adults and children ages 2 and older. It is not a steroid and does not cause skin thinning and other side effects that occur with prolonged steroid use. Eucrisa is applied twice daily to the affected areas. After just 28 days of treatment, Eucrisa was shown to completely or almost completely clear the skin of dry, itchy patches (U.S. FDA). Our office was one of the sites that performed the research trial that led to FDA approval of this ointment.
Are There Side Effects?
Although the safety and effectiveness of Eucrisa has been established through two placebo-controlled trials, there may be some side effects associated with this medication, including hypersensitivity reactions. However, most side effects were mild in nature and may include pain, burning, or stinging (U.S. FDA).
Who Should Use Eucrisa?
Anyone over 2 with mild to moderate symptoms could be a good candidate for this topical treatment. If you think that you may be able to benefit from Eucrisa, consult your dermatologist.
While there isn’t a cure for eczema, treatment options like Eucrisa and some anti-inflammatory medications can help to diminish your symptoms. In addition to talking with your dermatologist, who can design a treatment plan, follow these tips to help keep your skin clear and hydrated:
- Use a barrier repair moisturizer like Zerafite, which can help replenish the natural lipids on your skin that are responsible for sealing in moisture and keeping bacteria out.
- Avoid fragrances and dyes in skin care, beauty, and other personal-care products, as these ingredients can irritate the skin.
- Use a humidifier in your home to add moisture back into the air. Dry conditions can negatively affect your skin.
- Avoid scratchy fabrics like wool that can cause skin irritation.
- Teach children with eczema how to manage their symptoms, including moisturizing frequently throughout the day.
Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.