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Cancer

Cancer Background

Cancer is a class of diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Normally, cell proliferation is under tight control through many mechanisms. For example, DNA damage and repair mechanisms exist in order to decrease the likelihood of genetic mutation and cell transformation. Apoptosis is needed to destroy cells that represent a threat to the integrity of the organism. In addition, the immune system is ready to recognize and destroy cancerous cells. However these error-correction methods often fail in small ways, especially in environments that make errors more likely to arise and propagate. Accumulating disruptions in these control mechanisms lead to progressive error accumulation until unregulated proliferation and cancer forming.

Cell Cycle Background

The cell cycle is an ordered set of events, culminating in cell growth and division. The cell cycle of eukaryotes can be divided in two brief periods: interphase, during which the cell grows, accumulating nutrients needed for mitosis and duplicating its DNA, and the mitosis (M) phase, during which the cell splits itself into two distinct cells, often called “daughter cells”. By studying molecular events in cells, interphase is divided into three stages, G1, S, and G2. Thus the cell cycle consists of four phases: G1, S, G2, M.

G1 phase is from the end of the previous M phase until the beginning of DNA synthesis, and G stands for gap. During this phase the biosynthetic activities of the cell, which had been considerably slowed down during M phase, resume at a high rate. This phase is marked by synthesis of various enzymes that are required in S phase, mainly those needed for DNA replication. An important cell cycle control mechanism activated during this period (G1 Checkpoint) ensures that everything is ready for DNA synthesis.

DNA replication occurs during the ensuing S (synthesis) phase. To produce two similar daughter cells, the complete DNA instructions in the cell must be duplicated. Thus, during this phase, the amount of DNA in the cell has effectively doubled.

The cell then enters the G2 (gap 2) phase, which lasts until the cell enters mitosis. During the G2 phase the cell will continue to grow and produce new proteins. At the end of this gap is another control checkpoint (G2 Checkpoint) to determine if the cell can now proceed to enter M (mitosis) and divide.

After the interphase, during which the cell grows and accumulates nutrients, the cell begins mitosis. Cell growth and protein production stop, all of the cell’s energy is focused on the complex and orderly division into two similar daughter cells. As in both G1 and G2, there is a Checkpoint in the middle of mitosis (Metaphase Checkpoint) that ensures the cell is ready to complete cell division.

Nonproliferative cells in multicellular eukaryotes generally enter the quiescent G0 state from G1 and may remain quiescent for long periods of time. The G0 phase is even indefinitely for a cell that has reached an end stage of development and will no longer divide (e.g. neuron).

Early work in frog and invertebrate embryos suggested that cell cycle events are triggered by the activity of a biochemical oscillator centered on cyclin-CDK complexes. The cyclin/CDK complexes induce two processes, duplication of centrosomes and DNA during interphase, and mitosis. The roles of individual cyclins were tested by adding recombinant proteins to cyclin- biologidepleted extracts. Cyclin E supports DNA replication and centrosome duplication, cyclin A supports both of these processes and mitosis, and cyclin B supports mitosis alone. In the cell cycle, Cyclin D/CDK4, Cyclin D/CDK6, and Cyclin E/CDK2 regulate transition from G1 to S phase; Cyclin A/CDK2 is active in S phase; Cyclin B/CDK1 regulates progression from G2 to M phase.

It is widely accepted that the central cell cycle oscillator is based on cyclin/CDK complexes. However, this view of cell cycle regulation was challenged by evidence fora cyclin/CDK-independent oscillator in budding yeast. Haase SB and Reed SI. observed that oscillations of similar periodicity in cells responding to mating pheromone in the absence of G1 cyclin (Cln)- and mitotic cyclin (Clyclin B)-associated kinase activity in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is indicated that a previously unrecognized oscillator may play an integral role in regulating early cell cycle events. In addition, Orlando DA and colleagues discovered that a network of sequentially expressed transcription factors could regulate the bulk of the periodic transcription program and function as an oscillator independent of Cyclin B/CDKs.

Cancer Biomarker / Tumor Biomarker

Cancer biomarkers are present in tumor tissues or serum and encompass a wide variety of molecules, including DNA, mRNA, transcription factors, cell surface receptors, and secreted proteins. Cancer biomarkers can be used for prognosis: to predict the natural course of a tumor, indicating whether the outcome for the patient is likely to be good or poor (prognosis). They can also help doctors to decide which patients are likely to respond to a given drug (prediction) and at what dose it might be most effective (pharmacodynamics).

Sino Biological offers a comprehensive set of tools for cancer biomarker related studies, including recombinant proteins, antibodies (rabbit mAbs, mouse mAbs, rabbit pAbs), ELISA kits, and ORF cDNA clones.

Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Marker

Sino Biological offers a comprehensive set of tools for study of cancer stem cells. These include recombinant proteins, antibodies, ELISA kits and gene cDNA clones directed towards molecules which are identified as cancer stem cell (CSC) markers or involved in CSC proliferation and differentiation pathways.

Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Background

A cancer stem cell (CSC) is a cell within a tumor that possesses the capacity to self-renew and to generate the heterogeneous lineages of cancer cells that comprise the tumor. Bonnet and Dick isolated a subpopulation of leukaemic cells that express a specific surface marker CD34, but lack the CD38 marker. It is the first conclusive evidence for cancer stem cells. Later studies discovered that some other malignant tumors, including cancers of the: brain, breast, colon, ovary, pancreas and prostate, can also be composed of morphologically and phenotypically heterogeneous cell populations with varying self-renewal capacities, degrees of differentiation, and clonogenic and tumorigenic potentials. These observations have led to the development of the cancer stem cell theory, which points that many tumors, like physiologic tissues, can be hierarchically organized, and that cancer stem cells are essential for their propagation.

Not only is finding the source of cancer cells necessary for successful treatments, but if current treatments of cancer do not properly destroy enough cancer stem cells, the tumor will reappear. Therefore, the successful elimination of a cancer requires anticancer therapy that affects the differentiated cancer cells and the potential cancer stem cell population. Indeed, cancer stem cell-targeted approaches have shown promise in preclinical models. These approaches include direct strategies, such as ablation by targeting molecular markers of cancer stem cells or cancer stem cell-specific pathways, reversal of resistance mechanisms, and differentiation therapy, and indirect strategies, such as antiangiogenic therapy, immunotherapeutic approaches, and disruption of protumorigenic interactions between cancer stem cells and their microenvironment. A number of studies have focused on identifying specific cancer stem cell markers. Pancreatic cancer stem cells express the surface markers CD44, CD24 and epithelial specific antigen (ESA). It has also been identified that liver progenitor cells share molecular markers with adult hepatocytes and fetal hepatocytes. In addition, markers frequently used to identify adult stem cells within the prostate, breast and intestine include CD44, CD133, ESA, CD69, p63, as well as some stem cell antigen, such as CD34, c-kit, Flt-3, NCAM, and Thy-1.

Growth Factor & Receptor Background

The term growth factor encompasses a complex family of polypeptide hormones, steroid hormones, or biological factors that are capable of stimulating cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. Growth factors are important for regulating a variety of cellular processes, including regulating tissue morphogenesis, angiogenesis, cell differentiation, and neurite outgrowth. Growth factors typically act as signaling molecules between cells. Activities of growth factors are mediated via binding to transmembrane receptors that often contain cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domains. For the last two decades, growth factors have been increasingly used in the treatment of hematologic and oncologic diseases and cardiovascular diseases like: neutropenia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), leukemias, aplastic anaemia, bone marrow transplantation, angiogenesis for cardiovascular diseases.

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Healthy Skin Remedies

Skin treatment products available in the market are expensive. Not everybody can afford expensive skin care creams, moisturizers, lotions and balms. However, taking care of your skin is very important. This post throws light on homemade facial masks and body masks that do wonders to your skin.

Skin treatment products available in the market are expensive. Not everybody can afford expensive skin care creams, moisturizers, lotions and balms. However, taking care of your skin is very important. This post throws light on homemade facial masks and body masks that do wonders to your skin.
The skin tone of every individual varies. Using creams, moisturizers, balms and lotions that suit your skin tone is exceedingly important. Visiting the spa frequently for skin treatment can cost you a fortune. Face masks, facial masks, and body masks made from ingredients available at home save a lot of money. Homemade facial packs and body packs when used regularly improve skin condition. Fruits have vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for healthy glowing skin. Enzymes present in fruits react differently on various skin textures.

For natural skin whitening lime is used in several homemade masks. Skin condition deteriorates if you experiment with too many beauty products. One should realize that changes in skin condition do not take place overnight. A mistake many women make is change a product before it begins to show results. You cannot expect to have healthy glowing skin instantaneously. Give your skin time to get used to a product to show results.
Homemade facial masks and body masks for soft, smooth, and healthy skin
Papaya and Pineapple face mask
You will need 150g of fresh papaya, 150g of fresh Pineapple and a table spoon of honey for this facial mask. Place diced Papaya and pineapple in a blender and blend until you get a thick consistency. Transfer the thick paste in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of honey and mix well. Add the paste on your face with circular rubs gently. Keep the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash the fruit mask with splashes of cold water. You can also use this fruit pack on your hands and legs. This fruit pack is excellent for a soft and smooth complexion. You can use this fruit facial mask depending on your need and requirement.
Banana, Almond and Yogurt facial mask
You will need 2 medium sized bananas, 5 almonds powdered, and 50g yogurt. Place the bananas and yogurt in a blender/mixer and blend until you get a thick slimy consistency. Transfer the thick paste in a bowl. Add 5 powdered almonds to the paste and mix with a spoon. Apply this mask gently on your face and keep it on for 5 to 7 minutes. Wash with splashes of cold water. This mask can be used daily. If you have extremely oily skin avoid using almond powder in this facial mask. This mask adds radiance to skin and gives skin an even tone.
Avocado and honey face mask
You will need 1 avocado and 1 tablespoon of honey to make this mask. Scoop the flesh of the avocado and mash it till you get a thick pulp. Add a tablespoon of honey and mix well. Cleanse your face with lukewarm water before you apply the face pack. Apply the paste gently on face and neck. Let it remain for 8 to 10 minutes. Wash thoroughly with splashes of cold water. This face pack nourishes the skin. Avocado and honey face pack can be use in winters and summers. This face pack is recommended for individuals that have oily skin. Avocado and honey have minerals and vitamins that have various skin benefits.
Gram flour and yogurt mask
You will need half cup besan/ gram flour (chickpeas) and 50g yogurt to make this face mask. Take the gram flour in a bowl and add the yogurt to it. Mix well to form a paste of thick consistency. If you don’t want a paste of very thick consistency you can add two tablespoons of milk. Cleanse your face with lukewarm water. Apply the paste gently on your face and let it remain for 10 minutes. Wash off the mask with splashes of cold water. This mask removes dirt from pores and prevents outbreaks of acne. For individuals that have a bad acne condition two drops of tea tree oil should be put in the gram flour and yogurt paste. This face mask cleanses pores thereby preventing blackhead formation and outbreak of acne.
Turmeric face pack
To make a turmeric face pack you will need a 20gm turmeric powder, 4 table spoons milk, 30gm gram flour, 1 teaspoon almond oil, 2 table spoons of honey. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl to form a thick paste. Wash your face with water before you apply the paste. Make sure you keep on this facial pack for 10 minutes before you wash it off will splashes of cold water. You can also apply turmeric mask for legs and hands. Turmeric pastes that contain coconut milk and honey are used on hands and legs because they give radiance and glow to the skin. In India and many other Asian countries women that are soon to be married apply turmeric paste that contains coconut milk and honey on their hands feet and face to ensure their skin is soft, smooth and radiant. This facial pack is also used a lot for skin fairness treatments.
Apple face mask
You will need 1 apple, 2 tablespoon milk, and 1egg yolk. Skin the apple and put it in a blender. Add the milk when you get a thick pulp of the apple and mix well. Then add the egg yolk and blend once again. Transfer the paste in a bowl. There will be a smell that you may not enjoy, but be assured this face mask does wonders to the skin. It makes the skin soft and gives it a glow. Let the mask remain for 7 to 10 minutes. Gently wash with splashes of lukewarm water.
Cucumber face mask
For making a cucumber face pack you will need 1 cucumber, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Peel the cucumber and cut into small pieces. Place the pieces of cucumber in a blender/mixer and then add a tablespoon of honey. Mix thoroughly. If you want the mixture slimy, blend for a longer time. Once you have your desired consistency transfer the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Apply the concoction evenly on your face and neck. Let the face mask remain for 7 to 10 minutes. Wash the mask with splashes of cold water. Cucumber moisturizes the skin leaving it supple and soft. This is one of the most popular face masks used by women all over the world. This face pack is recommended for individuals that have dark circles and blemishes. Individuals with dark circles under their eyes can place medium hot green tea bags on eyes closed 2 hours after finishing with this facial mask. Also individuals that are continuously exposed to sunlight should use a cucumber face pack because it rejuvenates skin and prevents discoloration and skin darkening due to sun rays. This face pack is good for both normal skin and oily skin.
Tomato and lime face pack
To prepare this facial pack you will need 1 1/2 tomato and 1 lime. Place diced tomato and a peeled lime into a blender. If you find it uncomfortable to peel a lime simply squeeze the juice into the blender that contains the diced tomato. Blend these ingredients till you get a thick puree. Transfer the mixture in a bowl. Take the amount you need in a smaller bowl and add gram flour in accordance with your requirement to make a thick paste. Apply the paste gently on your face and let it remain for 10 minutes. Wash off the face pack with gentle splashes of cold water. You can refrigerate the remaining puree for 3 to 4 days and make a face pack using gram flour or corn flour whenever required. A tomato and lime face pack is recommended for individuals that are exposed to sun daily. Individuals that suffer from heavy skin darkening because of the sun should apply a tomato and lime face pack. Lime and tomato are ingredients that are used in various masks for skin whitening.
Sandal wood face mask
You will need 2 table spoons of sandal wood powder and rosewater. Mix the sandalwood powder and rose water to form a paste. Clean your face with water before you apply the paste. Let the sandal wood mask remain for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash your face clean with splashes of cold water. A sandal wood face mask softens skin giving it a natural pink glow. This face mask is excellent for removal of blemishes, and prevention of acne outbreak. This face pack is used in spas for fair skin treatments.
Cream, honey and castor oil face mask
You will need 50g fresh cream, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of castor oil. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Before you apply this face mask make sure you wash your face clean with water. Apply the mixture of cream, honey and castor oil on the face and let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes. If you want a thick concoction you can peel a small piece of raw potato and make a paste in a blender and mix it with other ingredients. Raw potato helps remove skin blemishes. Wash face gently with splashes cold water. This face pack prevents skin from losing its natural elasticity and developing wrinkles. Skin aging process is slowed considerably with this face pack.
Tips for applying and removing a facial mask
Do not keep experimenting frequently with various facial masks or body packs. Stick to ingredients that work well for your skin. Ideally a facial mask should be applied after a bath. Make sure your face is washed clean before you apply a facial mask. Wash your face every day with splashes of cold water and be gentle when you use your fingers to clean your face. When you get back home after a day’s work clean your face with a cotton swab along with a face cleanser to get rid of impurities that clog pores. If pores are clogged due to fine environmental debris, makeup, or sweat, blackheads are formed and acne outbursts are sudden. Before you apply a facial pack you have to make sure your face is free from impurities and dirt. If you do not want to use your fingers to apply a facial mask or body mask, the best way is to use the bulging base of a spoon to spread pastes or thick concoctions evenly.
Remember, to remove a facial pack, use gentle splashes of water. Do not rub your skin rigorously to remove a face mask. First use splashes of water to moisten a face mask and then gently use your fingers in a circular upward motion to get off the face mask. Fruits are full of minerals, vitamins that keep skin healthy and glowing. The masks mentioned in this list can also be used on hands and legs. Consult a dermatologist if skin irritation occurs after use of a facial mask or body mask. Various skin products available in the market use harsh chemicals that can be damaging for the skin. Natural skin products are gentle on the skin and are rich in nutrients that help in exfoliating dry skin. Natural face masks moisturize condition, revitalize and nourish skin leaving it soft, healthy and glowing. Keep in mind you will not develop a clear and smooth complexion overnight. For some, results may show within a few weeks, whereas for others it may take longer. Give the face pack you use time to work its magic.
Oils good for the skin
Here’s a list of oils that are excellent for the skin. However, oil applications in facial masks should be used in accordance with dry, normal or oily skin. An application of tea tree oil in homemade face masks can be used by individuals that suffer from varied acne conditions. If you’ve got very sensitive skin consult a dermatologist before you use an application of oil in facial masks or body masks.
• Olive Oil
• Almond Oil
• Avocado Oil
• Tea Tree Oil
• Coconut Oil
• Hemp Seed Oil
• Castor Oil
• Hazelnut Oil
• Cranberry Seed Oil
• Pomegranate Oil
• Grape Seed Oil
• Wheat Germ Oil
• Rosehip Seed Oil
• Sesame Oil
• Camellia Oil

Tips for healthy glowing skin
To breathe new life in skin wash your body every day with splashes of water. Make sure you wash off make up completely before you apply a facial pack. A balanced diet is essential. Avoid consuming deep fried foods if you have a severe acne condition. You intake of fruits, vegetables and meat should be balanced. Consume fresh fruit juices. Eat all types of fruits. Fibrous fruits, vegetables, and salads should be a part of your daily diet. The best drink for the body is water, have plenty of it during the day. Protect skin from the sun. Wear an herbal sunscreen lotion when you move about in the sun.

Other Articles by Realityspeaks

For the second segment on Home Remedies for Healthy Glowing Skin, click the link below

http://expertscolumn.com/content/home-remedies-natural-glowing-skin-10-essential-homemade-facial-masks-and-body-masks

For a detailed perspective on Apple Cider Vinegar Home Remedies and Health Benefits click the link below

http://expertscolumn.com/content/apple-cider-vinegar-health-benefits-and-home-remedies-0

For home remedies to get rid of dandruff click the link below

http://expertscolumn.com/content/home-remedies-get-rid-dandruff-treatment-oily-scalp-and-dry-scalp-0

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Habit of Doing Something Now

“AMONG the other things you intend to “cut out” in your New Year’s resolution, include the word (Impossible!)”  Napoleon Hill

“I have accumulated nothing but experience and knowledge and a few debts, and the reason, while it may not be sound, is easily explained. The truth is that I have been so busy all these years in trying to eliminate some of my own ignorance so I could intelligently gather and organize the data that have gone into the Law of Success philosophy, that I have had neither the opportunity nor the inclination to turn my efforts to making money.” Said Napoleon

Then the words hit him and he thought, “I had made one of the most embarrassing admissions of my life; I had laid my soul bare, admitting temporary defeat at almost every cross-road which I had passed in my struggles, and I had capped all this off by admitting that an exponent of the Law of Success was, himself, a temporary failure!

How incongruous it seemed! I felt stupid, humiliated and embarrassed as I sat in front of the most searching pair of eyes and the most inquisitive man I had ever met.

The absurdity of it all came over me like a flash – THE PHILOSOPHY OF SUCCESS, CREATED AND BROADCASTED BY A MAN WHO WAS OBVIOUSLY A FAILURE!

This thought struck me so forcibly that I expressed it in words.”

“No man is a failure who creates a single idea, much less an entire philosophy, that serves to soften the disappointments and minimize the hardships of generations yet unborn.”

How many of you are waiting until you have enough knowledge to complete a task, Waiting until you finish (or start) that degree, waiting until you’ve finished this great biik that has all the answers.  The truth is if you keep waiting for the right time it’ll never arrive.  It’s always today, NOW in fact, tomorrow never comes.  So whatever you can do today to get yor self ahead wil be better than waiting until tomorrow.

20min walk today is better than an hour walk you keep putting off because you don’t have the time.  One page of your novel is better than a 3000 word session.   Taking your kids to the park for 10 mins is better than not.  So what ever it is you have been putting off until the perfect time. -Stop and do it now.  Or a least do a part of it now.  You’ll feel so much better for it.

From www.millionairemum.com.au
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Eczema

Known as atopic dermatitis and for parents it is the most painful disease to watch your children suffer from.  Most doctors want to medicate or put cortisone cream on the already inflammed skin.  Yes this may calm the skin in some cases, but in all case it pushes the disease further into the body and these children later develop asthma, a far worse disease as it is life threatening.

So what can be done?  As a mother who watched and cried along with my baby when I couldn’t give him the relief he was looking for over 4 months.  Luckily I have natural medicine training and four years a naturopathy studies and one year of acupuncture  told me one thing.  -Don’t listen to the doctors and NEVER put cortisol cream on his skin.  I tried herbs and  acupuncture with out much success.  – Yes I took my 6month old to acupuncture every week for a month and syringed  chinese herbs into his mouth even through the protests. He did get better slightly and we both got a couple of hours sleep. But you’ll never believe once I found the correct natural alternative his torso was clear of eczema in a week and he hasn’t suffered since.  He is now 10 years old.

Please contact me if you want to know more

 

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

So what

Atopic dermatitis is due to a hypersensitivity reaction (similar to an allergy) in the skin, which leads to long-term swelling and redness (inflammation) of the skin. People with atopic dermititis may lack certain proteins in the skin, which leads to greater sensitivity.

Atopic dermatitis is most common in infants. It may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood.

People with atopic dermatitis often have asthma or seasonal allergies. There is often a family history of allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever, or eczema. People with atopic dermatitis often test positive to allergy skin tests.

However, atopic dermatitis is not caused by allergies. The condition tends to get worse when the person is exposed to certain triggers.

The following can make atopic dermatitis symptoms worse:

  • Allergies to pollen, mold, dust mites, or animals
  • Cold and dry air in the winter
  • Colds or the flu
  • Contact with irritants and chemicals
  • Contact with rough materials, such as wool
  • Dry skin
  • Emotions and stress
  • Exposure to too much water, such as taking too many baths or showers and swimming too often
  • Feeling too hot or too cold, as well as sudden temperature changes
  • Fragrances or dyes added to skin lotions or soaps

Symptoms

Typical skin changes may include:

  • Blisters with oozing and crusting
  • Dry skin all over the body or areas of bumpy skin on the back of the arms and front of the thighs
  • Ear discharge or bleeding
  • Raw areas of the skin from scratching
  • Skin coloring changes — more or less color than the normal skin tone (See: Skin abnormally dark or light)
  • Skin redness or inflammation around the blisters
  • Thickened or leather-like areas, called lichenification, which can occur after long-term irritation and scratching

Both the type of rash and where the rash appears can depend on the age of the patient:

  • In children younger than age 2, skin lesions begin on the face, scalp, hands, and feet. They are often crusting, bubbling, or oozing rashes that itch.
  • In older children and adults, the rash is more commonly seen on the inside of the knees and elbows, as well as the neck, hands, and feet.
  • During a severe outbreak, rashes may occur anywhere on the body.

Itching, which is sometimes intense, almost always occurs. Itching may start even before the rash appears. Atopic dermatitis is often called the “itch that rashes” because the itching starts, and then the skin rash appears from the scratching.

Signs and tests

A physical exam will be done. A skin biopsy can be done to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other causes of dry, itchy skin.

Diagnosis is based on the:

  • Appearance of the skin
  • Personal and family history

Allergy skin testing may be helpful for people with:

  • Hard-to-treat atopic dermatitis
  • Other allergy symptoms
  • Skin rashes that form only on certain areas of the body after exposure to a specific chemical

Treatment

SKIN CARE AT HOME

Taking care of your skin at home may reduce the need for medications.

Avoid scratching the rash or skin:

  • Relieve the itch by using a moisturizer, topical steroid cream, or other prescribed cream and taking antihistamines to reduce severe itching.
  • Keep your child’s fingernails cut short. Consider light gloves if nighttime scratching is a problem.

Keep the skin moist (called lubricating or moisturizing the skin). Use ointments (such as petroleum jelly), creams, or lotions 2 – 3 times a day. Moisturizers should be free of alcohol, scents, dyes, fragrances, or other chemicals. A humidifier in the home will also help.

Avoid anything that makes your symptoms worse. This may include:

  • Foods such as eggs in a very young child (always discuss with your doctor first)
  • Irritants such as wool and lanolin
  • Strong soaps or detergents, as well as chemicals and solvents
  • Sudden changes in body temperature and stress, which may cause sweating and worsen the condition
  • Triggers that cause allergy symptoms

When washing or bathing:

  • Keep water contact as brief as possible and use gentle body washes and cleansers instead of regular soaps. Short, cooler baths are better then long, hot baths.
  • Do not scrub or dry the skin too hard or for too long.
  • After bathing, it is important to apply lubricating creams, lotions, or ointment on the skin while it is damp. This will help trap moisture in the skin.

MEDICATIONS

At this time, allergy shots are not used to treat atopic dermatitis, although there is evidence that they may benefit certain adults with atopic dermatitis.

Antihistamines taken by mouth may help with itching or if you have allergies. Often you can buy them without a prescription.

  • Some antihistamines can cause sleepiness, but they may help with scratching while sleeping.
  • Newer antihistamines cause little or no sleepiness. Some are available over the counter. These medications include fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Most causes of atopic dermatitis are treated with medications that are placed directly on the skin or scalp (called topical medicines):

  • At first, you will probably be prescribed a mild cortisone (or steroid) cream or ointment. If this doesn’t work, you may need a stronger steroid medicine. You may need different strengths of steroids for different areas of skin.
  • Medicines called topical immunomodulators (TIMs) may be prescribed for anyone over 2 years old. TIMs include tacrolimus (protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel). Ask your doctor about concerns over a possible cancer risk with the use of these medicines.
  • Creams or ointments that contain coal tar or anthralin may be used for thickened areas.
  • Barrier repair creams containing ceramides

Wet-wrap treatment with topical corticosteroids has been shown effective for atopic dermatitis, although it can have side effects such as infection.

Other treatments that may be used include:

  • Antibiotic creams or pills if the skin is infected
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporinemethotrexate, or mycophenolatemofetil
  • Phototherapy, a medical treatment in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light

Expectations (prognosis)

Atopic dermatitis is a long-term condition, but you can control it with treatment, by avoiding irritants, and by keeping the skin well-moisturized.

In children, the condition often clears beginning at around age 5 – 6, but flare-ups will often occur. In adults, it is generally a long-term or returning condition.

Atopic dermatitis may be harder to control if it:

  • Began at an early age
  • Involves a large amount of the body
  • Occurs along with allergic rhinitis and asthma
  • Occurs in someone with a family history of eczema

Complications

  • Infections of the skin caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses
  • Permanent scars

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:

  • Atopic dermatitis does not respond to moisturizers or avoiding allergens
  • Symptoms get worse or treatment does not work
  • You have signs of infection (such as fever, redness, or pain)

Prevention

Studies have shown that children who are breast-fed until age 4 months are less likely to get atopic dermatitis.

If the child is not breast-fed, using a formula that contains processed cow milk protein (called partially hydrolyzed formula) may decrease the chances of developing atopic dermatitis.

References

  1. Excema and hand dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 3.
  2. Atopic dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 5.
  3. Greer FR, Sicherer SH, Burks, W and the Committee on Nutrition and Section on Allergy and Immunology. Effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: The role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, timing of introduction of complementary foods, and hydrolyzed formulas. Pediatrics. 2008;121:183-191.
  4. Lewis-Jones S, Mugglestone MA; Guideline Development Group. Management of atopic eczema in children aged up to 12 years: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ. 2007;335:1263-1264.
  5. Ascroft DM, Chen LC, Garside R, Stein K, Williams HC. Topical pimecrolimus for eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17;(4):CD005500.
  6. Bath-Hextall FJ, Delamere FM, Williams HC. Dietary exclusions for established atopic eczema.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD005203.