Searching for eczema (atopic dermatitis) treatment options?

We open on Cammy at Eczema HQ.

CAMMY: Hi, I’m Cammy, lead scientist at Eczema HQ. Let’s head inside.

Cammy walks slowly to the right.

CAMMY: I'm always searching for ways to explain the variety of available eczema treatment options.

CAMMY: So, my team created some pretty impressive visual metaphors to help do just that.

As the camera passes through the doorway, The Lab comes to life. It is a flurry of activity. We see metaphorical “science in action.”

CAMMY: Today, there are more eczema treatments than ever before so it’s important to understand your options so you can talk about them with your doctor.

Cammy walks over to Dave.

DAVE: Hey, Cammy!

CAMMY: Hi, Dave.

CAMMY: You may have ques…

DAVE: It’s great to be here, Cammy!

CAMMY: It’s great to have you, Dave.

Supers appear on screen.

  • How are they used?
  • How often are they used?
  • Goals of treatment?

CAMMY: You may have questions like: How are they used? How often are they used? What are the goals of treatments?

CAMMY: Let’s start with the different ways eczema treatments can be used. Dave, you want to take it from here?

DAVE: I won’t let you down!

Dave leaps up and hustles to the left. The camera pans with him to reveal a new set.

DAVE: First, there are treatments that can be applied to—and absorbed through—the surface of your skin, like topicals and phototherapy, which uses UV light to treat eczema symptoms.

The lights go dim. A black light comes on above the mannequin to reveal glowing skin. Demonstration is switched out.

DAVE: Then there are treatments that work inside your body, and those can be taken orally…

A pill is placed in his hands. It dissolves in water. The demonstration is switched out.

DAVE: …or treatment can be given via injection.

Dave grabs a syringe. He injects colored liquid into a balloon.

DAVE: It’s important to note that many of these treatments will require a prescription from your doctor.

CAMMY: Oh, and phototherapy should only be practiced under the guidance of a doctor.

DAVE: That’s right. And your doctor may even prescribe more than one of these treatments at the same time—they’ll decide based on several factors, including intensity of symptoms and the life impact of your eczema.

The set rotates.

CAMMY: If that wasn’t enough, you also have to consider the “when”…when it’s time for your eczema treatment.

The new set features a wall of calendars.

DAVE: Some treatments are used once or twice daily. And others at weekly or bi-weekly intervals—it will depend on the type of treatment you’re being prescribed so make sure to get a full explanation from your doctor or pharmacist.

CAMMY: So we’ve talked about how eczema treatments are different. But now let’s talk about what they have in common: their goals.

DAVE: My goal is to win Employee of the Month.

CAMMY: Do we even have Employee of the Month?

DAVE: No, but I’m dreaming big.

CAMMY: The goals I’m talking about are the goals that many eczema treatments have in common, which are:

Supers appear on screen.

Treatment Goals

  1. Reducing inflammation
  2. Improving the skin barrier

CAMMY: One, reducing inflammation, and two, improving the skin barrier—to help reduce the symptoms of eczema like itch and rash.

Living room is moved in behind them.

CAMMY: Think of this lovely mid-century style living room as your body…

A mobile control panel with faders (like on a mixing board in a recording studio) is wheeled out in front of her.

CAMMY: …and the electricity running through it as inflammation. When triggered by the immune system, a normal amount of temporary inflammation is good, since it helps heal cuts and fight off infections.

Cammy pushing up the faders. As the faders move up, the lights and appliances in the room power on, and gradually get to a normal level. Montage of the objects in the room powering on.

CAMMY: But for people with eczema, the immune system is overactive, triggering inflammation that continues even when there's nothing to fight off.

Cammy pushes the faders further up. As the faders move further up, the lights and appliances in the room begin to overload with brightness and volume. Montage of the objects in the room overloading.

DAVE: (over the commotion) This excess inflammation may contribute to symptoms like itch and rash.

CAMMY: So, how can treatments help? Whether a treatment starts working on the surface of your skin or from inside your body, many strive to reduce this inflammation.

Cammy pulls down on a single fader. One of the main devices substantially reduces in brightness. In conjunction, the rest of the devices in the room also reduce in power, but to a lesser extent than the main device. 

CAMMY: Some eczema treatments can reduce this inflammation by targeting the immune system itself.

DAVE: Kind of like reducing the total amount of electricity—or inflammation—coming into the room.

CAMMY: Additionally, there are eczema treatments that can reduce inflammation by targeting specific proteins or pathways inside your body or by working locally where they’ve been applied. Like we show here.

Cammy pulls down the “Master Fader” and all the other faders come down. Electricity goes down on all objects.

DAVE: Exactly.

CAMMY: So, we reviewed how treatments can work on your immune system, or specific parts of your body, in order to reduce inflammation. Next, let’s talk about another goal many treatments strive for: improving the skin barrier.

CAMMY: Let’s imagine this wall is your skin.

DAVE: And this is what happens when your skin is scratched or damaged because of your eczema.

Dave smashes a hole through the drywall.

CAMMY: You can see how your skin is now more susceptible to external irritants and moisture loss, which can contribute to your eczema symptoms.

Looking through the hole in the wall.

CAMMY: What many eczema treatments aim to do is repair this damage in order to restore this vital barrier function.

A group of lab techs start fixing the dry wall from either side. They continue patching up the wall as the camera moves away, never repairing it 100%.

DAVE: We hope this gave you a better understanding of the wide world of eczema treatment options.

DAVE: To recap—while many eczema treatments try to achieve similar goals, there are different options for how they’re used and how often.

Supers appear on screen.

Eczema Treatment Goals

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve skin barrier

CAMMY: …and one of the most important things is to talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

A sign that says “TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR” is wheeled into view.

CAMMY: That just about covers it, right?

DAVE: I could talk about this for days.

CAMMY: Maybe next time. For now, check out the Eczema HQ site. And if you enjoyed this video, thought it was informative, anything really, please give it a share. And of course, if you want to learn more, check out the other Eczema HQ videos, and check back for more to come.