Researchers are exploring the possibility of using botulinum toxin (Btx) as an adjuvant treatment for resistant forms of atopic dermatitis. BTx injections have shown promise in preventing dermatitis-like lesions in laboratory animals.
As many patients and dermatologists can attest, atopic dermatitis remains one of the most common yet confounding skin conditions. Contact with a foreign body or substance produces an allergic reaction and localized inflammation that leads to the secretion of histamine, responsible for the itchy sensations. The repeated scratching to relieve these pruritic symptoms results in the characteristic swollen, reddened or thickened appearance of the affected areas.
While atopic dermatitis generally resolves by itself, a number of patients experience persistent symptoms that require treatment. Individuals living with this actopic dermatitis are burdened with constant inflammation and itch, which often leads to eczematous skin that is prone to infection and further perpetuates the symptoms. No single treatment has been shown to be universally effective; what works for some may not be as helpful for others. Steroids, creams, light therapy, silk clothing, salt or even dilute bleach baths are among the numerous prescribed treatments that come with varying degrees of success.
Clinicians now recognize that a multi-pronged approach is best for dealing with atopic dermatitis. Combining an identified effective treatment with a preventative method is routinely recommended. For patients with resistant forms, adjuvant or additional therapies are considered to relieve the most acute symptoms that can lead to infectious complications.