10.1% of the American population have eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. These individuals typically experience red, sore, chapped, itchy, and dry skin on areas on their body, and have to take extensive steps to care for their skin daily. 53 % of people with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis state that their condition has a negative impact on their day to day life. Meanwhile, 23% say it makes them feel depressed. Therefore, the revelation that a simple allergy shot can alleviate eczema symptoms is a promising step in the right direction for millions of eczema patients.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema It has a higher prevalence in children than adults, with 10.7% of children under the age of 18 currently diagnosed with the condition in the U.S. This type of eczema is, in most cases, triggered by a food item or an environmental factor. 85% of individuals with atopic dermatitis will have at least one allergy of some sort. While the majority of children who develop eczema will grow out of it, 40% will continue to face symptoms as an adult. And this can have major implications on their standard of living.
More than just a skin condition
49% of individuals with eczema told an Understand AD survey that their skin condition impacts their quality of sleep. This is a worrying statistic as sleep is the key to good health, and it keeps the body and mind in good working order too. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 26% say that their eczema also affects their productivity in the workplace. So, allergy shots could benefit these patients in more ways than one.
What are allergy shots?
Allergy shots are a form of ongoing allergen immunotherapy treatment. Children over the age of five and adults can have these shots to relieve the symptoms associated with allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, eye allergy, and similar allergic responses. Allergy shots are a type of vaccine whereby a small amount of the allergen is injected into the body in order to build up immunity to that particular allergen. The build-up phase requires regular injections once or twice per week for three to six months. The maintenance phase will subsequently begin when the effective dose of allergen is achieved. This phase involves shots being administered less frequently.
How allergy shots can relieve eczema symptoms
Latest research conducted on a 48-year-old man who had battled severe eczema since childhood found that treating his allergies with shots significantly benefited his eczema symptoms. Following skin testing, allergist, Anita Wasan, MD, discovered that the man was allergic to dust mites, weeds, trees, grasses, mold, cats, and dogs. Allergy shots were administered for all of these allergens and, after a year, the man’s eczema symptoms had substantially improved. “Once he reached a maintenance dose of allergy shots, he no longer needed high dose steroid therapy for his eczema,” Wasan confirmed.
An earlier study reported by Verywellhealth revealed that individuals with atopic dermatitis symptoms greater than 40 on the SCORAD symptom severity scale obtained positive results following allergy shot treatment. Both this study and Wasan’s one from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology demonstrates that there is hope for the millions of individuals who have to take extra care and effort with their skin each day as a result of their eczema. However, it’s important to note that further research and scientific studies into the effectiveness of allergy shots as a form of atopic dermatitis treatment need to be undertaken on larger sample groups to truly determine its impact.
Eczema in both mild and severe forms can abruptly impact the lives of children and adults around the world. But new research has shown that allergy shots can alleviate eczema symptoms. And while more research is required, this study highlights an important link between treating allergens and reducing eczema symptoms.