If you’ve suffered with severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) for a long time and have tried what you think is every available option for relief, you may want to consider allergy shots. A medically-challenging case being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting found that allergy shots provided significant benefits to the eczema symptoms suffered by a 48-year-old man.
“The man had suffered with severe eczema since childhood,” says allergist Anil Nanda, MD, ACAAI member and lead author of the paper. “He had tried many previous therapies for years including mild and high strength topical corticosteroid cream, as well as other topical anti-inflammatory creams and topical moisturizer creams. Biologic therapy has been available to treat eczema for about a year and-a-half but was not yet a treatment option at the time we saw this man. We thought allergy shots might be beneficial because he also had multiple allergies.”
Atopic dermatitis is an allergic disease, and patients who have it often also have other types of allergies. Symptoms of eczema include severe itching along with excessive dryness or scaling, red or inflamed skin, sleep disturbance and skin pain.
“We conducted skin testing and found the man was allergic to dust mites, weeds, trees, grasses, mold, cats and dogs,” says allergist Anita Wasan, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the paper. “Because his allergies could all be treated with allergy shots, we thought treating his allergies might also benefit his eczema. After one year, he reported significant benefit to his symptoms, which was great news. And once he reached a maintenance dose of allergy shots, he no longer needed high dose steroid therapy for his eczema.”
New and existing treatments for eczema can reduce the severity of symptoms like itching and excessively dry skin. Eczema is a chronic condition, and symptoms can come and go. An allergist can help you find relief from this chronic disease. Allergists are specialists in allergic diseases like eczema and are trained to help you take control of your symptoms, so you can live the life you want.
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