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Preventive treatment effective for eczema flare-ups

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A new study has found that among adults with eczema, proactive and long-term treatment with tacrolimus ointment applied twice a week kept the skin condition stable and reduced flare ups.

30 May, 2008 – 12:55

Conventional treatment of eczema typically involves applying anti-inflammatory medication to the infected areas of skin.

The study, published in the June edition of Allergy Magazine and carried out by Dr. Andreas Wollenberg, from Ludwig-Maximilian Universitat in Munich, Germany, and members of the European Tacrolimus Ointment Study Group, conducted a clinical trial in which 247 adult patients with eczema initially applied tacrolimus ointment twice daily for up to six -weeks to visible lesions.

Patients who responded well were then randomly assigned to apply tacrolimus or placebo ointment twice-weekly for twelve months. If flare ups occurred, they were treated with daily tacrolimus until the flare-up subsided.

The average time to a first flare up was much longer for the proactively treated patients (142 days) than for the reactively treated patients (15 days). The proactive group also had a lower percentage of days in which their condition flared up and more of them had no flare ups compared to the control group.

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