New research reveals hope for the millions of people throughout the world who suffer from chronic eczema.
Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema marked by frequent, unpredictable relapses. It is currently treated in one of two ways: a potent topical corticosteroid followed by a lower potency preparation upon improvement of the condition or a short course of topical corticosteroids followed by a maintenance regimen using emollients. However, neither of these methods has proven to be particularly effective in stabilizing the condition or extending remission time.
In a study conducted in Europe, researchers set out to determine if fluticasone propionate (as a cream or ointment) used twice weekly as part of an emollient based maintenance regimen would improve the overall condition of patients. Fluticasone propionate is a new topical corticosteroid with high anti-inflammatory effects and a low incidence of adverse effects.
Results from the study show an increase in the median time to relapse from six weeks for patients using the emollient only to more than 16 weeks for those adding fluticasone propionate to their maintenance regimen. Those using the cream were 5.8-times less likely to have a relapse than those using an emollient alone. Those using the ointment were 1.9-times less likely to have a relapse than emollient-only users.
Researchers conclude that the addition of fluticasone propionate to the maintenance treatment of patients who have reached stabilization will significantly reduce their risk of relapse.