Treatments for Eczema
The Eczema Center for Excellence at the Mount Sinai Health System is a national and worldwide destination for innovative treatment and research in all forms of eczema. With scientists and doctors working together, our teams are responsible for many of the safe and effective eczema treatments used today, including state-of-the-art patch testing. Research at Mount Sinai led to the understanding that atopic dermatitis (eczema) is an immune disease, which directly contributed to the monoclonal antibody and systemic treatments that are approved or under development for this condition. We have built a robust clinical trials unit that is among the largest in the United States, which gives our patients access to emerging therapies not available anywhere else.
Advanced Clinical Care
With extensive experience in even the rarest forms of eczema, our specialized teams are highly skilled in making challenging diagnoses and managing complex cases. Such deep experience also enables us to predict and manage side effects very effectively. We also take a multidisciplinary approach, working with Mount Sinai colleagues who specialize in areas such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes in order to offer our patients comprehensive care.
In addition, our Center is home to a full Phototherapy Suite, which provides a range of treatments for eczema. Our suite offers skilled, precision therapies, such as excimer laser treatments.
We also specialize in offering unique treatments to patients of color, that includes clinical trials specifically targeting this patient population.
Treatment Options Include
Our specialists provide treatments for all forms of eczema, including the following:
Phototherapy (Light Therapy)
Provided in Mount Sinai’s Phototherapy Suite (which is among the world’s largest such units), this prescription treatment uses ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by an artificial lamp or laser. Your dermatologist may recommend this therapy if your Atopic Dermatitis is widespread, or if you have a more localized rash that has not gotten better with other treatments. Your session will involve applying moisturizer to your skin then being exposed to bursts of light that may last from several seconds to minutes. Your dermatologist will determine the frequency of your visits, which should start to improve your eczema within one to two months. Side effects may include skin tenderness and premature aging of the skin.
Biologic drugs are a genetically engineered, targeted therapy that blocks the action of a key immune system protein called interleukin. This interference calms the immune system in order to reduce AD inflammation and symptoms. Dupixent (dupilumab) is the first biologic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for AD. Its side effects may include pink eye and a reaction at the injection site.
In order to calm the immune system overreaction that causes the inflammation of AD, your doctor may prescribe an immunosuppressant medication. Taken orally, immunosuppressants can be used to treat those with moderate or severe conditions. Oral medications include traditional systemic medications, which carry side effects including increased infection risk, nausea, and increased risk for certain cancers. Immunosuppressant oral medications also include steroids, such as prednisone, which may be used to control severe inflammation but could cause symptoms to worsen after the medication is stopped.
Corticosteroids are a common prescription treatment that can be applied to the skin in order to minimize itching and inflammation. These medications may be used in adults and children, but should be stopped or reduced according to your dermatologist’s instructions once symptoms are under control. Side effects may include thinning of the skin and stretch marks.
Our team of eczema specialists is committed to putting Mount Sinai’s research labs and multidisciplinary services to work for each patient. Our goal is to design the right safe and effective care plan for you, so that you can move beyond your condition and live life to the fullest.