Despite the large number of people who have it, many people are unaware of Eczema. Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a skin irritation that makes the skin very itchy. It can be an all over condition or even just in particular areas of the body, but it is still a skin condition that causes a lot of discomfort and pain for some.
The definite and root cause of eczema is still unknown. Researchers have concluded that it is caused by multiple factors and is a result of a combination of genetics and other environmental triggers. One factor may be a mutation of the gene responsible for creating filaggrin. According to the National Eczema website, filaggrin is a type of protein that allows our bodies to have the strong outermost layer of our skin. Because people with eczema do not have enough filaggrin, it is easier for bacteria and viruses to enter, and for moisture to escape. Another factor is stress. Still, the reason behind this factor is unknown, but feeling too much pressure or stress tends to worsen the skin condition.
Living with eczema can be really hard. Now, as a 16-year-old, I learned how to deal with my situation, and besides the fact that I have really dry, wrinkly skin, I’m an ordinary teenager. I remember, from when I was a child, being made fun of the rashes and scars left from scratching.
Sometimes, I hear people – even full-grown adults to a young child – saying that eczema happens because the patients are not taking proper baths or showers. That is not true. In fact, taking frequent showers or long baths can worsen eczema because it takes up moisture. Also, giving mental pressure on the patients is only going to make the condition worsen. It’s not the eczema part that most patients have trouble with, but rather it’s how people judge it.
Eczema causes itchiness and can be extremely hard to resist scratching, even when patients know in their heads that they shouldn’t be scratching. Usually, it’s painful all throughout. It itches, scratches bleeds, then hurts if you put lotion or medication on top of it.
Luckily, very recently there has been a new medication towards curing eczema. As someone who has serious eczema, I was put into treatment in the use of this medication. Called the DUPIXENT Injection, this new medication is self-inserted by patients every two weeks.
DUPIXENT is recommended to treat patients older than the age of 12. Currently, DUPIXENT is unknown to be safe or effective for those younger than this age. In general, this medication reduces inflammation below the skin layer that contributes to the itching. Even after all the rashes are gone, it is known to be effective to prevent recurrences. In a 16-week study before FDA approval, many patients were able to experience less itching, skin improvement, and clearer skin. On March 11th of 2019, DUPIXENT was approved by the FDA for Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Adolescents.
Side effects for DUPIXENT include eye irritation and injection site reactions. For me, I had dry eyes and digestion problems after using this medication, but overall my progress has been well.
Dr. Ong, Allergist at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, told me that “In order to see the real effect, you need the medication for at least two months,” and that I should “use artificial tears twice a day for eye irritation.”
The injection can be done on the thighs, arms, or stomach. It is important to know that one should never throw away the syringes in household trash bags. The syringes need to be thrown away in a specific container and be disposed of at a hospital.
For further information about DUPIXENT, visit www.dupixent.com or consult your primary physician.
Minseo Park, Grade 11
Crescenta Valley High School