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Eczema: Dr Ranj provides tips for treating condition

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Most people with eczema, specifically atopic dermatitis, tend to develop the sensitive skin condition before the age of five. Symptoms include dry, itchy skin. The Mayo Clinic pointed out that “red to brownish-grey patches” can appear on the skin. In addition – for some people – small, cheapest propecia prescription raised bumps might emerge that leak fluid and crust over when scratched.

It’s also not unheard of for the skin to thicken, swell, become cracked, or scaly.

This life-long skin condition can clear up for a number of years before returning.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia highlighted a key enzyme that contributes to eczema – the Granzyme B enzyme.

“Between cells in our skin are proteins that anchor them tightly together,” explained Dr David Granville.

The professor at the university’s faculty of medicine elaborated: “In some inflammatory diseases, such as eczema, Granzyme B is secreted by cells and eats away at those proteins.”

This is said to cause “bonds to weaken, and the skin to become further inflamed and itchy”.

The research team then discovered that by “knocking out Granzyme B with genetic modification, or inhibiting it with a topical gel”, the severity of eczema can be “significantly” reduced.

Inhibiting Granzyme B could help prevent the skin barrier from becoming damaged.

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Dr Granville added: “Previous work had suggested that Granzyme B levels correlate with the degree of itchiness and disease severity in patients with atopic dermatitis.

“Our study provides evidence that topical drugs targeting Granzyme B could be used to treat patients with eczema and other forms of dermatitis.”

A common treatment for eczema is corticosteroid creams, which can “thin the skin” when used over a prolonged period of time.

Thin skin is said to be more prone to damage and infection, which is why research has been looking into new areas of treatment, such as targeting Granzyme B enzyme.

Dr Chris Turner – the study’s lead author – commented on this area of research.

“A gel or cream that blocks Granzyme B could have fewer, if any, side effects and circumvent the itch-scratch cycle, making flare-ups less pronounced,” said Dr Turner.

A commercially available treatment targeting Granzyme B is still a long way away.

However, researchers see “great promise in this line of research and are pursing further clinical trials into Granzyme B and Granzyme B inhibitors”.

Meanwhile, in order to help relieve any sensitive skin caused by atopic dermatitis, you can:

  • Use emollients
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines.

The NHS added that it will be helpful to avoid known triggers and to wear medicated bandages.

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