In a case involving a 48-year-old man, allergy injections were able to provide noticeable benefits for atopic dermatitis (AD) symptoms. The unpublished case study was presented during the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle. These results may be a model for treating medically-challenging cases of AD in the future, according to the investigators.
“The man had suffered with severe eczema since childhood,” said lead author Dr. Anil Nanda, an allergist and a member of the clinical faculty at the Division of Allergy and Immunology at UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, in a press release. “He had tried many previous therapies for years including mild and high strength topical corticosteroid cream, as well as other topical anti-inflammatory creams and topical moisturizer creams. Biologic therapy has been available to treat eczema for about a year and a half, but was not yet a treatment option at the time we saw this man. We thought allergy shots might be beneficial because he also had multiple allergies.”
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Dr. Nanda and his colleagues decided to test the effects of allergy medications on their patient based on the fact that AD is an allergic disease, and patients who have it often also have other types of allergies.
“We conducted skin testing and found the man was allergic to dust mites, weeds, trees, grasses, mould, cats and dogs,” said co-author Dr. Anita Wasan, an allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Center in McLean, Va., in a press release. “Because his allergies could all be treated with allergy shots, we thought treating his allergies might also benefit his eczema,” she said. After one year, he reported significant benefit to his symptoms, which [we thought] was great news. And once he reached a maintenance dose of allergy shots, he no longer needed high dose steroid therapy for his eczema.”
The researchers suggest that moving forward, dermatologists can work with allergy specialists in helping patients find relief from their AD symptoms.