Researchers discover new Rx for allergic contact dermatitis

March 8, 2018, Louisiana State University
Researchers discover new Rx for allergic contact dermatitis
Credit: Louisiana State University

Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found a promising new treatment for allergic contact dermatitis that offers an alternative to corticosteroids and their possible side effects. The research is published this month in Dermatology and Therapy.

Working in an experimental model of allergic contact dermatitis, the research team developed a mixture of antioxidants and moisturizers, combined with potent free radical scavengers and inhibitors, which suppressed an inflammatory response to the irritant. The cream relieved itch, reduced swelling and protected peripheral nerves in the affected area.

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is caused by exposure to an allergen in sensitive people. Sensitizing allergens include nickel and gold, perfumes, soaps or organic compounds. Although removal of the allergen reduces symptoms, recovery can take weeks. The authors also note that allergic contact dermatitis represents 5-10% of doctor visits.

One of the current primary treatments for severe allergic contact dermatitis is the use of corticosteroids. Long-term use of corticosteroids can result in skin atrophy, spider veins, loss of skin color or corticosteroid acne. They can disrupt the skin's barrier and lead to adrenal suppression, altered growth, hypertension, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and cataracts, and they may increase the risk for certain cancers.

The experimental cream, on the other hand, successfully treated in mice, without the side effects of corticosteroids. The new cream works in a different way by preventing or stopping the process that initiates inflammation.

Researchers discover new Rx for allergic contact dermatitis
Credit: Louisiana State University

This project is part of a long collaboration that Dr. Bazan developed with Dr. Ricardo Palacios-Pelaez from Spain on inflammation, immunity and neurodegenerative diseases.

"Now with the new cream, we targeted some of those mechanisms in a relatively less complex condition in the skin, always with translational-enabling goals," said Bazan.

Other members of the research team included Drs. William Gordon, Surjyadipta Bhattacharjee and Bokkyoo Jun at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, as well as Drs. Virginia Garciá López, David Rodríguez Gil, Javier Alcover Díaz, Fernando Pineda de la Losa, Ricardo Palacios Peláez, Concha Tiana Ferrer and Gabriela Silvina Bacchini from Madrid, Spain; along with Hélène Varoqui at Ochsner.

"While our results are very promising, additional studies are needed to determine theideal duration of treatment and the most efficacious concentrations of the active componentsin the test formulations that will best alleviate ACD," Bazan concluded.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, as well as LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence.

This work is part of Bazan's innovative research searching for novel fundamental principles of tissue/organ injury involving inflammation, immunology, genetics and epigenetics. Most of his efforts are focused on responses to damage to the brain and retina and include Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, pain, Macular degeneration and traumatic brain injury, but as these findings demonstrate, fundamental discoveries have broad application.

Explore further: Scratching the surface: why skin allergies make us itch

More information: William C. Gordon et al, A Nonsteroidal Novel Formulation Targeting Inflammatory and Pruritus-Related Mediators Modulates Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Dermatology and Therapy (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s13555-018-0223-8

Related Stories

Scratching the surface: why skin allergies make us itch

June 6, 2013
A Yale-led team of researchers has identified the protein that controls inflammation and the urge to itch in people who suffer from contact dermatitis due to exposure to poison ivy and other allergens. The study appears in ...

Got a rash? You might be allergic to nickel, dermatologist says

August 20, 2015
(HealthDay)—Nickel is one of the most common causes of a skin rash that occurs due to contact with an allergen, a dermatologist says.

Treating eczema could also alleviate asthma

January 19, 2018
Scientists from VIB-UGent have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma. The findings are an important next step in understanding the relationship between the two ...

New formulated moisturizer effective for facial dermatitis

February 24, 2018
(HealthDay)—Facial moisturizers with specific ingredients may be effective for treating mild-to-moderate dermatitis, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Researchers discover new source of skin defects in eczema

February 27, 2018
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a cause of the dry, inflamed and itchy skin that plagues eczema patients. A team led by Donald Leung, MD, Ph.D., has shown that an immune system skewed toward allergy ...

Case report describes contact dermatitis from ultrasound gel

September 15, 2015
(HealthDay)—An atypical presentation of contact dermatitis due to ultrasound gel has been reported in a 67-year-old male patient. The case report was published online Sept. 8 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Recommended for you

Obesity and health problems: New research on a safeguard mechanism

March 16, 2018
Obesity and its negative impacts on health - including metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular complications - are a global pandemic (Taubes, 2009). The worldwide incidence of obesity has more than ...

Immune system 'double agent' could be new ally in cancer fight

March 16, 2018
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that an enzyme called TAK1 functions like a "double agent" in the innate immune response, serving as an unexpected regulator of inflammation and cell death. ...

Artificial sweetener Splenda could intensify symptoms in those with Crohn's disease

March 15, 2018
In a study that has implications for humans with inflammatory diseases, researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and colleagues have found that, given over a six-week period, the artificial sweetener ...

Researchers identify common biological features of different types of asthma

March 14, 2018
A team of researchers from the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre - a partnership between Leicester's Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University - has identified biological variations in lung ...

Scientists discover treatment target for sepsis

March 14, 2018
In a study published in Nature Communications, Northwestern Medicine scientists demonstrated the key role a molecule called oxPAPC plays in regulating the inflammatory response—findings which could inform the development ...

Researcher creates 'Instagram' of immune system, blending science, technology

March 10, 2018
Being on the cutting edge of science and technology excites Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) researcher Carsten Krieg, Ph.D. Each day, he walks into his lab that houses a mass cytometry machine aptly labeled Helios. Krieg explains ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.