Recent Research Findings in Dermatitis
Eczema or dermatitis is an inflammatory process that gives rise to redness, swelling and itching of the skin. Chronic itching can lead to rubbing and ‘lichenification’ or thickening of the skin. Around 10% of the world population and up to 40% of children suffer with the condition and to date, it remains incurable
Researchers in California now report the discovery of a gene that may be the cause of chronic itching in eczema sufferers. The researchers describe how they identified the fact that the serotonin receptor HTR7 plays a key role in eczema and other forms of itch.
The researchers notedin mouse experiments that the mice that expressed the most HTR7 in nerve cells in the skin were the ones most affected by itch. Further research revealed that HTR7 was involved in chronic itch; mice that lacked the HTR7 gene had less severe skin lesions and scratched less compared with equivalent mice that had the gene.
This finding raises the possibility of the HTR7 gene being targeted by new drug therapies for treating chronic eczema.
If you or your children suffer from eczema, let a dermatologist optimise your treatment and bring about a dramatic improvement in life quality.