Eczema is a common condition that affects 1 in 10 people,
according to the National Eczema Association (NEA).
The symptoms — including dry,
itchy skin and the appearance
of discolored patches or rashes
on the skin — are caused by inflammation and can range
from mild to moderate to severe.
People with the condition
have used oral or topical
(applied to the skin) treatments
to reduce itching and ease the inflammation that causes the rashes to develop.
Steroids and immunosuppressants can help relieve the dry, itchy skin and treat the rashes that form with eczema, but newer drugs such as biologics and JAK inhibitors offer more targeted therapies.
Some biologics for eczema target an immune system protein (or cytokine) called interleukin, which transmits signals that lead to inflammation in the skin barrier.
JAK inhibitors work even earlier
in the process. They target enzymes called Janus kinases
that stimulate the production
of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
By short-circuiting the inflammatory process that causes the condition, JAK inhibitors prevent symptoms before they appear and may provide long-term relief of eczema.