What is EpiCeram Skin Care Cream?
Why is EpiCeram Cream used in Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema?
When dermatologists use the word ‘Eczema’ we often mean a form of sensitive skin called atopic dermatitis.
Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic and often intermittent skin condition that can manifest itself at any age.
It is often called ‘the itch that rashes’ because the skin is often itchy before a rash appears.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis may affect different parts of the skin at different ages.
In babies, the diaper area can be affected, in children the ‘flexural’ or crease areas, in the elbow or knee folds and in young and middle aged adults, the hands can be the primary problem area.
Senior citizens may have generalized dry skin, but particularly dry and itchy skin on the legs or back.
For most patients with eczema, no single trigger factor can be determined to set off the itching or rash.
In this way, atopic dermatitis is similar to asthma, in which a variety of irritants such as cigarette smoke, pollution, exercise, or a cold may all at different times set off an asthma attack.
For eczema patients, environmental irritants including harsh soaps, over bathing, chemical exposures such as cleaning agents, and dry weather may trigger the eczema flares.
Researchers have determined that the main culprit in predisposing patients to eczematous skin conditions is a dysfunctional skin (cutaneous) barrier function.
One of the chief functions of the skin is to determine what should pass through the surface (epidermal) cells and what should stay out!
Eczema patients appear to have an altered skin barrier that makes the skin more susceptible to external irritants and infections.
Current treatments for inflammed and symptomatic atopic dermatitis aim to suppress the over-reactivity of the skin with immunosuppressant creams such as Elidel or Protopic.
Another commonly employed treatment is the use of topical steroids which also aim to suppress any acute inflammation.
All treatments are combined with preventative measures such as the use of good moisturizers on a regular basis.
Recent genetic research has pointed to a specific defect in the skin that may contribute to the barrier dysfunction.
This defect is in a particular protein called fillagrin, which is important in determining how the skin cells mature or differentiate as they pass through the upper layers of the skin, called the epidermis.
Fillagrin is also important in the skin cell membranes.
One new prescription cream aims to improve the skin barrier in patients with atopic dermatitis by replacing the fatty lipids that are normally found in the skin. The lipids include
ceramide, cholesterol and free fatty acids and are the primary ingredients in EpiCeram.
EpiCeram contains no steroids and can be used on all skin areas and age groups. At present, EpiCeram is available by prescription only.