New Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Options - from Cordova Dermatologist George Woodbury Jr MD
Eczema – also called “atopic dermatitis” – is a sensitive skin condition that often runs in families along with asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. It’s felt to be genetic, rather than due to an allergy to milk or eggs. Episodes of eczema –rashes or itching or burning -tend to start when the skin gets dry, often related to a new cleanser or laundry detergent.
In 2020, attacks of Eczema are unfortunately becoming more and more common, particularly because of the need for frequent skin washing and scrubbing, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of Americans affected is increasing, particularly for unclear reasons among African-Americans. Eczema can quickly turn into a family crisis: flares can happen quickly and parents deprived of sleep from kids itching in the night can’t function well as parents during the day!
Above is a photo of yours truly - George Woodbury Jr. M.D. - working in the Big River Silk Skincare production lab with a cleanser option - called AmberSoy Soap Gel - now available nationally through Big River Silk Skincare Inc. Yes: we design, manufacture, and distribute skincare products. Our logo? SCIENCE SIMPLIFYING SKINCARE.
The good news is that Dermatologists like myself have more and more effective evaluation tools and treatment options.
So let’s take a look:
Regarding evaluation tools:
Traditionally, Dermatologists have evaluated eczema by inspecting the skin in the office. We sometimes also do a skin biopsy, removing a small area of skin under local anesthetic to be checked by a Dermatopathologist, or specialist in skin cells. Sometimes we order skin allergy patch testing, to check for allergy to one or more preservatives, fragrances, metals, or components of latex. This tesing is either the True Test®, or Expanded Allergy Testing, also called the Dormer Test,® now available in my practice in Cordova, TN (www.Rheumderm.com : 1-901-753-0168). Finding the trigger chemical helps patients to avoid it.
Traditionally, Dermatologists have used what are called topical (meaning “on top of the skin”) prescription steroid creams and ointments, such as Triamcinolone and Clobetasol. Now we also have several effective steroid-free products: tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, as well as crisaborole ointment (Eucrisa®). Sometimes for flares of eczema we use Medrol® shots (steroid shots, sometimes called allergy shots). We also have several oral tablets, including an oral steroid - prednisone, and oral azathioprine, as well as an injectable biologic medicine - Dupixent®.
Furthermore, we have more and more effective moisturizers, including Cerave®, Cetaphil®, and Atopiclair®. And in 2016, I decided to make available nationally several lubricants creams that my family of four Dermatologists has used for over forty years in Tennessee: an Alpha-hydroxy anti-wrinkle moisturizer – GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream and GlycoShea™ Hand&Body Cream – through Big River Silk™
Skincare – of which I’m the President.