What Could the Future Hold for Eczema Treatments
For many people, December 31st is the perfect time to look back and reflect on what happened in the previous year. It is also the perfect time to look ahead at what’s to come! There were a lot of exciting advances this year in eczema research and the great thing about knowledge is how it compounds. The more you know, the faster you will discover new information. With that in mind, let's take a look at what might be coming in the new year and maybe even beyond!
New Eczema Drugs
This year, two new drugs were approved by the FDA for the treatment of eczema (crisaborole and dupilumab), and these aren't like any drugs on the market today. It’s been 15 years since the last new eczema drug was released to the public, so this is a huge cause for celebration. What’s even more exciting are the possibilities for further drug developments. A few years ago, psoriasis research into new drugs was completely stalled. Then one new drug was released and, all of a sudden, we have multiple breakthroughs and medications! Innovation drives innovation, so breakthroughs in eczema today could mean more breakthroughs tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see!
New Uses of Existing Therapies
Researchers around the world are starting to use existing eczema therapies in a variety of innovative ways. Through mixing steroidal creams and moisturizing ointments, some doctors have found combinations that seem to work better together than they each would alone. These new combo treatments could work synergistically for your eczema child with wet wrap therapy and Eczema Rescue Suits, because locking that moisture in while the steroidal cream helps calm the skin. We will keep you updated if any super effective combinations come to light.
In genetics research today, what used to seem like science fiction is quickly becoming reality. Our understanding of genetics and the role they play in eczema and other inflammatory diseases continues to grow every year. In 2016, researchers have discovered ten new genetic markers for eczema, bringing the total up to 31 that we know of. Not only that, these markers also show correlation with asthma, hay fever, and allergies (the atopic triad). Then, thanks to breakthroughs in genetic engineering, technologies like CRISPR may soon allow us to cheaply make changes to our genetic code. This means that now that we know what genes cause eczema, we may be able to repair or replace them.
The problem is that since we still have a limited understanding of how genes interact, we need to know exactly what the deactivation of these eczema genes would do. We wouldn’t want to cure eczema only to end up with even worse problems. Curing eczema is only scraping the surface of what this technology might be able to do. There are many ethical questions that editing our genetic code might raise, but with proper safeguards, this technology could usher in a cure for many, many diseases, not just eczema.