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23rd September 2022 (6 Topics)

Paediatric eczema

Context

According to a new study, a new drug has shown ‘significant’ improvement in moderate to severe eczema symptoms for patients between the age of six months and five years.

About

  • Dupilumab, a biological drug, worked better than immune-suppressing medications. 
  • Dupilumab injection is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by stopping the action of certain substances in the body that cause inflammation

Eczema:

  • Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder characterised by red, dry, often oozing skin and itch that can profoundly affect the lives of affected patients and their families. 
  • An estimated 19 per cent or more of all children under 6 years of age have eczema. The onset of the disease for 85-90 per cent patients happens in the first five years of life. 
  • The children’s debilitating itch leads to sleep disturbance, poor neurocognitive development and, on average, a full night of sleep lost per week.
  • Eczema is not contagious. The cause of eczema is unknown. It is likely caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
  • Eczema may get better or worse over time, but it is often a long-lasting disease. People who have it may also develop hay fever and asthma.

Infant eczema symptoms

The following atopic dermatitis symptoms are common in babies under the age of 2:

  • rashes on the scalp and cheeks
  • rashes that bubble up before leaking fluid
  • rashes that can cause extreme itchiness, which may interfere with sleeping

Symptoms of eczema include the following:

  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Dark colored patches of skin
  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Scaly areas
  • Areas of swelling

Treatments

  • There is currently no cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flares of symptoms.
  • Doctors will suggest a treatment plan based on an individual’s age, symptoms, and current state of health.
  • For some people, eczema goes away over time. For others, however, it is a lifelong condition.

Types

There are several types of eczema. Besides atopic dermatitis, other types include:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis:This is a skin reaction that occurs following contact with a substance or allergen that the immune system recognizes as foreign.
  • Dyshidrotic eczema:This refers to irritation of the skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It is characterized by blisters.
  • Neurodermatitis:This leads to scaly patches of skin on the head, forearms, wrists, and lower legs. It occurs due to a localized itch, such as from an insect bite.
  • Discoid eczema:Also known as nummular eczema, this type presents as circular patches of irritated skin that can be crusted, scaly, and itchy.
  • Stasis dermatitis:This refers to skin irritation of the lower leg. It is usually related to circulatory problems.

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