Calcineurin Inhibitors are a new way of treating atopic dermatitis. They must be prescribed by a doctor and come in the form of a topical cream.
These inhibitors were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 to treat chronic cases of atopic dermatitis, usually on a short-term basis.
Two of the main types of Calcineurin Inhibitors created are tacrolimus ointment 0.03 % and pimecrolimus cream 1 %, for patients over the age of two years. Tacrolimus is also available in 0.1% but is only recommended for patients over the age of 15 years.
Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus work by inhibiting the activation of T lymphocyte cells, which will activate as a result of an attack on the immune system, to reduce an atopic dermatitis reaction, as atopic dermatitis can be similar to an allergic reaction.
Calcineurin Inhibitors provided an alternative to topical corticosteroids, which can cause several serious side effects such as thinning of the skin and stretch marks.
There is also more moisture retention in the skin with calcineurin inhibitors than with topical corticosteroid treatments.
These inhibitor treatments are said to be just as effective as topical corticosteroids in controlling a person’s atopic dermatitis. Although, one reported side effect of calcineurin inhibitors is a burning sensation of the skin which will eventually lessen.
Products with calcineurin inhibitors must have a warning that states that there is an increased risk of skin cancer and melanoma associated with them.
It is suggested that a person with atopic dermatitis should attempt either at-home treatments or topicals creams or ointments before attempting to use products with calcineurin inhibitors.
There has been continued debate over the use of calcineurin inhibitors in the medical field, but a person should always remember to consult with his or her doctor before deciding to go for a product that contains this type of inhibitor.
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