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Offering Patients Relief From Dry Skin

Epidermal barrier repair. A new technology may offer patients relief from dry and irritated skin.

Tracey Vlahovic, DPM, says clinicians can provide epidermal barrier repair through the use of emerging products that contain hyaluronic acid or ceramides or both as these products can penetrate the epidermis and moisturize the skin.

Dr. Vlahovic notes products with epidermal barrier repair reduce transepidermal water loss for patients with conditions like xerosis and inflammatory skin conditions, and also reduce flares associated with inflammatory skin conditions. She notes patients can use the non-steroidal therapy in conjunction with other medications or as monotherapy. Many of these products contain ceramides, hyaluronic acid and physiologic lipids that help restore and heal the stratum corneum, according to Dr. Vlahovic, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Podiatric Medicine at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.

Dr. Vlahovic cites several products that can facilitate epidermal barrier repair.

EpiCeram® Controlled Release Skin Barrier Emulsion (PuraCap Pharmaceutical) is a topical skin-barrier repair product that has an approved indication for atopic dermatitis. The company notes EpiCeram contains the essential lipids ceramide, conjugated linoleic acid and cholesterol.

HylatopicPlus (Encore Dermatology) can provide relief from the burning, itching and pain associated with atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis and radiation dermatitis, notes the manufacturer Encore Dermatology. The company adds that the lotion can treat dry skin by providing a moist environment.

Neosalus (Exeltis) can be helpful in managing various types of dermatoses such as atopic dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis, notes Exeltis. The company notes the product’s free fatty acids penetrate beyond the stratum corneum to synthesize ceramides, cholesterol and other free fatty acids.

Ceramax (IntraDerm Pharmaceuticals) may be beneficial in managing the skin irritations and inflammation caused by atopic dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis, notes the manufacturer IntraDerm Pharmaceuticals. The company says Ceramax consists of selected lipids and a lipid precursor, which can penetrate the bilayers of the skin by blending with the natural lipid building blocks.

Dr. Vlahovic notes the research and development of the aforementioned prescription products are superior to that of over-the-counter products. When prescribing epidermal barrier repair, she will use coupons and specialty pharmacies to get the product into the patient’s hands.

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