Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2019 in Videos

Eczema (or atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition that can dramatically affect a person's life. Allergist and immunologist Dr. Hamsa Subramanian of Signature Allergy and Immunology talks about what steps you should take if you have eczema.


Hello, my name is Dr. Hamsa Subramanian. I practice allergy and immunology in St. Louis, Missouri.

Today we are going to talk about atopic dermatitis otherwise called eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a very chronic, debilitating disease.

Eczema patients have severe and intense itching and different kinds of skin problems: dry skin, red skin, peeling skin, infected skin, scarring skin. It affects their quality of life. Many patients have sleep disturbances. Many others have a social stigma where it affects their social life.

The first thing about eczema: the patient needs to be educated. You should be educated in a very scientific way because this is a chronic disease. There is no cure, but we can always keep it under control.

After education comes meticulous skin care and the skin care should be tailor made for your skin. It should be ongoing and it should even happen when your skin has no eczema lesions.

Once you have understood the disease, once you know that you need to take care of your skin, then you need to see a specialist be it an allergist or dermatologist. Eczema is one of many allergic diseases and patients who have one allergic disease can have other allergic diseases like pollen allergy, food allergy, asthma, and so on.

Once you understand your disease, once it has been diagnosed, there are great, safe medications. In March of 2017, the FDA has approved two new medications for this condition.

One is an ointment. This is very good news because it's approved for children two years and above and it's used for moderate to severe eczema. The other, which is an injection, is approved for 18 years and above.

For patients who have failed conventional therapy, for patients who have tried everything; who have been very compliant with their medication but still have problems - talk to your allergist or dermatologist about these two new options. They work very well. Their side effect profile is also pretty good.