Eczema or atopic dermatitis is an allergic skin condition characterized by itching, dryness and redness. Mild cases are frequently treated with moisturizers or topical corticosteroids. Stubborn cases of eczema are sometimes treated with powerful topical immune suppressing drugs such as Elidel and Protopic. The oral forms of these medications are used to dampen the immune system and prevent organ rejection in transplant patients. Initially, these drugs were thought to be relatively safe when applied to the skin. But the FDA has received increasing numbers of reports linking Elidel and Protopic to serious infection and even cancer in children. Although there are precautions about such problems in the official prescribing information, the FDA is considering beefing up the warnings. In the meantime, parents need to discuss the pros and cons of both Elidel and Protopic before treating their children’s eczema.

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  1. ALD

    I had eczema from the time I was a week old until after 30 years old. I still have to be careful of soaps, flour, and having my hands in to much water. I found I was allergic to lanolin. When I had my first baby I used baby oil and lotions and lost all my fingernails because my hands broke out so badly. A Dr. treated me with ultraviolet lights and that helped, and he told me I may outgrow it, and sure enough if I will be careful I don’t have any problems anymore.

  2. PP

    The child of a friend suffered from eczema for 7 years, until finally it was determined she had an allergy to propanol glycol which is in everything–soap shampoo, foods, and many cosmetics. she has been relatively itch free for 2 years now, since that discovery, but it took determination and fights with the insurance company!

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