Q: What are some of the new medicines that can be used for eczema? I have been using MimyX and/or clobetasol propionate ointment when flare-ups happen. Is there anything else that would help? The clobetasol is thinning my skin. What would be as good to treat the areas?
A: There is a sometimes unfortunate tendency for physicians to prescribe—and patients with widespread atopic dermatitis to use—ever stronger topical steroid preparations. There are eight classes of topical glucocorticosteroids based on biological activity. Concentration may be no clue. For example, clobetasol cream 0.05 percent is the strongest topical steroid cream (class I) whereas hydrocortisone 1 percent and 0.5 percent creams are the weakest (class VIII). MimyX does not contain a steroid.
Whereas applications of an appropriate topical steroid can allow many acute eczemas and some flare-ups to heal, patients with widespread, chronic, smoldering atopic dermatitis usually need a skin care regimen to treat the whole skin. Following this regimen may take lots of time. The regimen may take into account factors such as humidity, clothing, cleansers, sweating, moisturizers, scratch-suppressors, lifestyle adjustments, stress reduction, and behavior modification.
Your doctor doesn’t want your skin to thin either. Be sure to discuss this side effect with him or her. Weaker steroids may take longer to work but reach the same endpoint.