New Studies in Eczema, medically termed Atopic dermatitis, extend our understanding, and verify what we already know.
Early eczema, and according to some, the majority of eczema is caused by reactions from the branch of the immune system related to antibody production known as TH2 immunity. One of the popular biologics for eczema targets this system. We might expect that people with this kind of immunity would cause reactions very shortly after exposure to allergens to which they are sensitive. But although some academic proponents of eczema being a result of immediate sensitivity, testing for IgE sensitivity, while useful for pollen, dander, and dust, is often not very helpful in identifying allergic triggers, especially if food allergy is involved.
A recent study by Dr Emma Guttman-Yassky showed that in a subgroup of Eczema patients , substances secreted by white blood cells called lymphocytes called cytokines, had characteristics of a delayed hypersensitivity or TH1 response instead. These cytokines were of the types IL 22 and IL 17, both related to delayed reactions.
Using a biologic antibody that blocked IL-22, she demonstrated that eczema patients with high IL-22 had greater improvement than eczema patients with low IL-22. She claimed this as the first example of personalized medicine for Atopic Dermatitis. While it is an important finding for drug blockade of immune reactivity, those using holistic, integrative, natural, or nutritional dermatology know that tailoring diet, food elimination, and appropriate digestive and other supplements to control the underlying causes such as microbiome imbalances or digestive disturbances to calm down the inflammation, have been practicing personalized medicine long before this study.