Do I continue using topical creams and ointments after starting new therapies?
In a recent webinar, we discussed ‘New Therapies for Atopic Eczema’ with a leading Australian dermatologist, Dr Gayle Ross. A common question asked by the audience was regarding the use of existing eczema treatments. Specifically, how important is it to continue using topical creams and ointments such as steroids and moisturisers after starting on a new therapy, such as PBS listed Rinvoq or Dupixent.
We put this question to Dr Ross, who comments:
‘Yes, we strongly encourage people to continue their topical treatments, and this is particularly important at the start of treatment. So while we are waiting for the new therapy to kick in, I think it is very important to continue the topical – that’s the moisturisers, and potentially the cortisone creams or the non-cortisone creams like elidel or tacrolimus.’
‘These we know, not only improve the effectiveness of the advanced treatments but they are working in a different way. So the two together give better improvement than either one on their own. But we also find within time, as the advanced therapy starts to kick in, just naturally people will feel they don’t need as much of the topical treatments. But I certainly that see if people stop them too quickly the improvement is certainly a bit slower.’
“Keeping well moisturised is one of the important things to continue long term if you want to minimise your eczema flaring up,” Dr Gayle Ross, Dermatologist.
‘It’s important for people who have been living with severe eczema for a long time to ask questions and to know who to turn to for support. Organisations like Eczema Support Australia are extremely important as well as talking to GPs. GP’s can’t prescribe the new therapies, but they can refer you to a dermatologist who can.’
With a special interest in eczema, Dr Gayle Ross is the lead clinician at the atopic dermatitis clinic at Royal Melbourne Hospital. She currently looks after over 100 patients on advanced therapies.