Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is an itchy inflammation of the skin that usually develops in childhood but can occur at any age. Sufferers often experience dry skin, itching, raw, sensitive skin, and cracked and scaly skin which may lead to discomfort, infections and sleep disturbance, and self-consciousness. If you have tried topical eczema treatments to no avail, biologic treatment may be a good option for you. At HMGS Dermatology, our dermatologists have the training and experience to properly determine if biological treatments are right for you.
What are Biological Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis?
The FDA has approved dupilumab (Dupixent) as a biologic that can be used for children and adults with moderate to severe cases of atopic dermatitis. It is the first biologic of its kind and helps to manage the inflammation deep beneath the surface that contributes to atopic dermatitis flare-ups on the skin.
Some of the specific immune proteins that are involved in atopic dermatitis inflammation are called interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13). Dupixent blocks these proteins to slow down the immune response, decreasing atopic dermatitis symptoms.
Other biologic treatments for atopic dermatitis are currently being studied. Some of these potential treatments work similarly to Dupixent, while others work differently.
Who is a Good Candidate for Biological Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis?
Patients six years of age or older with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that has not responded to topical prescription therapies can benefit from biologic treatment. During your consultation, be sure to let your dermatologist know if you have eye problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan on becoming pregnant, or if you are scheduled to receive any live vaccinations. Overall, the best way to determine if biological treatment is right for you is through a consultation at our office. Whether or not biological treatments are right for you will depend on multiple factors, including your medical conditions, the severity of your atopic dermatitis, and your symptoms.
What to Expect During Biological Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis?
Dupixent is a prescription medication that is given as a subcutaneous injection and is not a steroid cream. It is available as a pre-filled syringe or a pre-filled pen, depending on your preference. It is important that you use this medication exactly as prescribed. Your dermatologist will inform you on how much Dupixent to inject and how often to inject it for the best results. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions regarding how to properly take your medication, as we want you to have the best possible results.
Biological Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis FAQs
Is Dupixent an immunosuppressant?
Dupixent is a biological treatment, not an immunosuppressant. The treatment targets a protein within the skin that is involved in inflammation.
Can Dupixent cure eczema?
Dupixent is an effective treatment to reduce eczema symptoms. However, it is not a cure.
Can Dupixent cause weight gain?
Dupixent is not known to cause weight gain.
How quickly do biological treatments for eczema work?
Biological treatments for atopic dermatitis, such as Dupixent, reduce itching and other symptoms as early as two weeks after beginning the treatment.
Can I get a flu shot while using Dupixent?
Patients who take Dupixent should avoid live vaccinations. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which vaccinations you can receive while taking Dupixent.
Following Biological Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis
Correct use of biological treatment should result in improvements in atopic dermatitis symptoms. Side effects include possible injection site reactions, eyelid, and eye inflammation, and cold sores in the mouth or on the lips. Be sure to let us know if these side effects are bothersome or do not go away.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you interested in learning more about biological treatments for atopic dermatitis? If so, contact HMGS Dermatology today to schedule your consultation with one of our team of dermatology specialists! We are your South Jersey eczema experts.
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