Eczema drug now approved for teens, too

Injectable is pricy but worth it for some people

HOUSTON – Eczema affects millions of people of all ages. But a medication that had been changing the lives of adults now has the "all-clear" for teens.

Skin that was once red and irritated is now clear and smooth.

For years, Evelyn Gomez couldn't take a walk outside.

She has atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. The sun makes her rash worse.

"I got so bad my skin would open up and weep," Gomez said.

Eczema is terribly uncomfortable and many who suffer with say it’s unsightly.

"The biggest problem with atopic dermatitis, in addition to the inflammatory rash, is a tremendous itch associated with it," dermatologist Dr. Robert Snyder said. "That is a huge burden in terms of quality of life for patients."

Gomez's skin is much better now, thanks a medication called Dupixent, which is injected into the skin.

Unlike creams and gels, this medication works from the inside out, Dr. Snyder said.

"This agent focally blocks the chemicals in the body that lead to the inflammation," he added.

Kendall Bates, 14, has suffered from eczema since she was a baby.

The rash did ore than make her feel self-conscious.

"I would stay up all night scratching, or in the middle of the night, I would wake up scratching," she said.

But after just one injection of Dupixent, Kendall said, everything changed.

"My skin is super smooth now and it’s like, the next day I just stopped scratching," she said. "I got the best sleep ever."

Gomez said her quality of life also improved dramatically.

"I'm able to go to the pool," she said. "This is the darkest I’ve ever been because I can enjoy the sun.   It's turned my life around."

There can be a drawback with this medication, as it's a pricy once-a-month injection.

However, most insurance companies do help offset the cost. It is now approved for patients over the age of 12 and can also help treat some cases of asthma.