Millions of individuals suffer from eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), especially young children under the age of six. The skin becomes dry, itchy, and red from the chronic inflammatory skin illness, which is quite uncomfortable.
There is presently no treatment for the ailment; rather, there are ways to manage it. However, a contemporary medication is highly efficient at reducing the symptoms of eczema in children under the age of six who have moderate to severe forms of the disorder.
This complex biologic medicine has never before been tested in this age range.
It is Dupilumab that is in question. In recent research, Dupilumab or placebo was administered to 162 children from North America and Europe between the ages of 6 months and 6 years who had moderate-to-severe eczema across the course of 16 weeks.
The medicine demonstrated a 75% reduction in symptom severity in more than half of the children who received it. The kids' itchiness was greatly diminished, and they could sleep much better as a result.
"Preschoolers who are constantly scratching, awake multiple times a night with their parents, irritable and markedly curtailed in their ability to do what other children their ages can do, improved to the extent that they sleep through the night, change their personalities and have a normal life - as babies and children should," dermatologist Amy Paller from Northwestern University in Illinois said.
Dupilumab is already used to treat eczema in older children and adults, as well as asthma, nasal polyps, and other allergy-mediated issues. It targets a critical immune inflammatory route in allergens.
Around 19 percent of this age group are believed to have eczema, and 85-90 percent of those who experience eczema throughout their lifetime notice the first symptoms before the age of five. Until today, it had not been deemed safe or proven to be helpful for children under the age of six.
A third of the children in this age range have moderate to severe eczema, which is accompanied by incapacitating itching. As a result, these children have trouble sleeping, which has a variety of negative impacts.
While immune-suppressing drugs like oral steroids are frequently used for severe cases of eczema, there are questions about their acceptability for young children in terms of both the short- and long-term side effects on their health, according to Paller.
There is already an "outstanding" safety profile for Dupilumab, so no more laboratory studies are required. It can now be given as a monthly shot by either a parent or healthcare provider to infants as young as six months old.