A few days ago, researchers from Newcastle University revealed a new discovery in eczema research that might just change the lives of eczema sufferers forever. We recently read this article about their major breakthrough that could lead to new, incredibly effective treatments. Is it a cure? No, but it certainly one of the biggest steps towards one we have seen in years.
When doctors treat eczema today, they are simply treating the symptoms. As the medical community has no real understand of the underlying causes of eczema, it’s really all they can do. They know that steroidal creams will calm the skin and reduce inflammation. Through trial and error, its been discovered that Wet Wrap Therapy, when combined with an eczema wrap like our Eczema Rescue Suit, can help the skin retain moisture and give it a chance to heal. These are both effective treatments, but neither of them with ever truly makes the eczema go away. All we can really do is seek out our eczema triggers, cut them out of our lives, medicate with creams when we really needed them, and continue to use moisturizing ointments and wet wrap therapy. All of this might all be changing in just a few years.
Scientists at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, believe they have discovered the underlying cause of eczema, a missing protein called filaggrin. This protein plays a pivotal role in regulating the barrier function in the skin. Without it, the other key proteins and pathways just don’t work properly, with the result being eczema flare ups.
The researchers at Newcastle discovered this by creating a model of human skin. With it, they could remove filaggrin from the model to see how it reacted compared to normal, healthy skin. Without this protein, the model became damaged and inflamed. If it were attached to a person, odds are that the skin also would have been very itchy!
Now, finding this missing protein doesn’t change anything by itself, as we don’t yet have the technology to “fix” our bodies to produce the proper amounts of filaggrin. However, it is an important step towards that future. Now that scientists have a better understanding of why eczema happens, they can create new drugs that will hopefully treat the underlying causes of eczema, rather than just the symptoms.
Unfortunately, these treatments are still years away. In the meantime, we recommend the two treatments that we mentioned above. Steroidal creams, when used in moderation, can be a lifesaver, stopping flare ups just before they get really bad. And, of course, you probably know how Wet Wrap Therapy and our eczema wraps have improved the lives of both eczema-afflicted adults and eczema children. If you or your child suffers from eczema, give one of our wraps a try. Our Eczema Gloves, for example, can work wonders to help calm and moisturize the skin whenever you wear them. Someday down the road, we might not need eczema clothing but for now, it’s one of the best treatments we have!