Study: PEtroleum Jelly May Cost-EffectiveLY Prevent Eczema in Infants
Applying low-cost moisturizers including petroleum jelly to a baby’s skin for the first six months of his or her life is a cost-effective way to prevent eczema, according to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The study determined that seven common moisturizers are cost effective in preventing eczema in high-risk newborns. By using the cheapest moisturizer in the study (petroleum jelly), the cost benefit for prophylactic moisturization was only $353 per quality-adjusted life year, the study showed.
Families that are caring for a child with eczema spend an average of $274 per month on medical costs.
“It’s not only terrible for the kids, but also for their families,” says lead and study author Steve Xu, MD, a resident physician in dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Eczema can be devastating. Beyond the intractable itch, a higher risk of infections, and sleep problems, a child with eczema means missed time from school, missed time from work for parents, and huge out-of-pocket expenses. So if we can prevent that with a cheap moisturizer, we should be doing it.”
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Improving Patient Satisfaction: Redness Relief
“We have a great number of topical treatments and even some oral treatments, but the one part of rosacea that can be really frustrating to treat is that redness. It’s tough to get it better and we certainly can’t get it better permanently with any cream. I think we really underestimate how much that red face bothers patients, because sometimes they just aren’t satisfied with only improvement of the papules and pustules. So there are some great options for treating the redness and the broken blood vessels and that’s with lasers. And there are some really safe ways to do it.”
—Emmy M. Graber, MD
To learn how Dr. Graber uses a pulsed dye laser to treat patients with rosacea, watch this episode of DermTube Journal Club by visiting dermtube.com/series/dermjournalclub/redness-relief-targeting-rosacea-with-lasers/
Early studies from Japan, the US, and the UK have suggested that full-body application of moisturizers for six to eight months, beginning within the first few weeks of life, can reduce the risk that eczema will develop. Dr. Xu’s study examined the cost-effectiveness of seven common, over-the-counter moisturizer products, such as petroleum jelly, Aquaphor, Cetaphil, and Aveeno.
Dr. Xu acknowledges the evidence is preliminary on prophylactic moisturization but said, “We’re not giving them an oral drug or injecting them with a medication; there is minimal risk. We’re putting Vaseline on these babies to potentially prevent a very devastating disease.”
In addition to preventing eczema, preserving the skin barrier may also reduce the risk of other health problems like food allergies, he says. Larger, long-term clinical studies are underway to see if prophylactic moisturizing leads to sustained benefits.
CDC Study: Banning Indoor Tanning Among Minors Will Save Lives, Money
Having trouble convincing patients to comply with your request to skip tanning? An age restriction could help. New research published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found banning indoor tanning for those under a certain age could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars.
In December 2015, the FDA proposed an age restriction on indoor tanning for minors under the age of 18. In the new study, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that this age restriction could prevent 61,839 melanoma cases and 6,735 melanoma deaths, and save $342.9 million in melanoma treatment costs over the lifetime of the 61.2 million children age 14 and younger in the US.
“An age restriction on indoor tanning could be a significant step forward in the fight against skin cancer,” said study author Gery P. Guy, PhD, MPH, a health economist in the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, in a news release. “By restricting the use of indoor tanning devices among minors, we could potentially save thousands of lives.”
CDC researchers estimate that the FDA’s proposed age restriction could reduce the overall prevalence of indoor tanning in the US by 29 percent. What’s more, a reduction of just 20 percent could potentially prevent 40,410 melanoma cases and 4,286 melanoma deaths, and save $219 million in melanoma treatment costs; a complete elimination of indoor tanning could potentially prevent 202,662 melanoma cases and 23,266 melanoma deaths, and save $1.1 billion in melanoma treatment costs, the study showed.
“This research concretely demonstrates the potential health benefits of an under-18 age restriction for indoor tanning,” says a Cleveland-based dermatologist and lawyer Abel Torres, MD, JD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “The AADA has supported this age restriction since the FDA announced it last year, and we hope this study motivates the FDA to save lives and lower health care costs by finalizing this proposal as soon as possible. Moreover, we hope these dramatic figures remind the public, especially young people, to stay out of indoor tanning beds.”
Online Community Connects the Psoriatic Disease Community
The armamentarium of psoriasis treatments continues to grow, but patients with psoriasis may feel isolated and alone when starting treatment or when dealing with flares. An online community may help by connecting these patients with others who can offer support. TalkPsoriasis, an online support community of people impacted by psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, has reached a milestone of more than 100,000 members. TalkPsoriasis empowers people living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis with information, support, and advice to help them live well with their disease.
Sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and in partnership with healthcare social network Inspire, TalkPsoriasis is an open and encouraging environment where people affected by the chronic, inflammatory, immune-mediated disease can connect, exchange information, share experiences, and create community. The free service encourages members to post questions, read about others’ experiences, and find resources from fellow members to help manage their disease.
“Due to the visible nature and pain of psoriatic disease, it can be easy for patients to become isolated and think that no one understands what they are going through,” said Randy Beranek, president and CEO of the National Psoriasis Foundation. “TalkPsoriasis is a great way for patients to connect with others who know exactly what it’s like living with the disease and feel understood and supported. We are thrilled to see the participation continue to grow beyond 100,000 users from across the globe.”
In 2014, NPF launched an aggressive five-year strategic plan centered on dramatically improving the health of people living with psoriatic disease. By 2019, NPF says it will cut in half the number of people who report their condition is a problem in everyday life; increase by 50 percent the number of people receiving the right treatment; and double the number of health care providers effectively managing patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
To accomplish its ambitious plan, NPF has several programs and initiatives, including TalkPsoriasis, to help people with psoriatic disease find effective ways to treat and manage their disease. TalkPsoriasis grew by more than 30,000 members over the past year, and there were roughly 50,000 member posts in 2016 alone.
To join or learn more about TalkPsoriasis, patients can visit www.talkpsoriasis.org