New knowledge about atopic dermatitis has led to the rapid development of newer and more targeted treatments, giving hope for better control to more and more individuals.1

Scientific research is opening the doors to better management.

Atopic dermatitis is a common condition, with up to 20% categorized as moderate-to-severe disease.1 Traditional treatment involves lifestyle modification and avoidance of triggers, keeping the skin moist and the use of medications to manage symptoms like itchiness.1Unfortunately for some patients, especially those with moderate-to-severe disease, this approach is insufficient, leading to poor control of flares and significant impact on quality of life.1

New medications are changing that.1,2 Researchers have been learning more and more about how the immune system contributes to atopic dermatitis symptoms.1-3 This has led to the development of drug classes specifically targeted towards the immune system, leading to fewer flares and better symptom control.1,2

Atopic dermatitis is more than just a skin condition.2 An over-active immune response leads to underlying long-term inflammation underneath the skin.2 Even if it’s been days, weeks, or months since you have had a flare, inflammation may still be active.2

We will discuss two of the recent treatment options that target the immune system in atopic dermatitis: Biologics and JAK inhibitors.1,2

Biologics: the first breakthrough in atopic dermatitis treatment.

Biologics have been used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis since 2017.1,4 Studies as well as real-world experiences by doctors treating patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis have shown that biologics work for certain groups of patients and that they are well-tolerated, even with long-term use.4-6 Biologics have also been used in a wide range of individuals with atopic dermatitis, in different age groups and characteristics, with favorable results.4-6

Biologics work by specifically targeting certain chemicals that are involved in the development of inflammation.4,3-6 By reducing inflammation, they can help reduce itch and flares, while improve the condition of your skin.6,7 They are usually given as an injection3 and can be used alone or in combination with topical treatments.6,7

For some experts in the field, biologics as a class seem a bit gentler than conventional immune-suppressing drugs, allowing them to target inflammation without some of the adverse effects and metabolic issues often seen in other types of medication.4

A new class of drugs on the horizon: JAK inhibitors

Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are another promising new group of drugs for atopic dermatitis.1,8,9 They block the action of enzymes in the immune system called Janus kinases, which can result in decreased symptoms such as itch and inflammation.1,8,9

Studies among patients have shown favourable results so far, with JAK inhibitors being able to control the symptoms in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.1,8,9 With these promising results, further studies are underway to ensure that they remain safe and effective for long-term use, as well as discovering which groups of patients they are best suited for.8

In addition to biologics and JAK inhibitors, more treatments for atopic dermatitis are currently being studied.1 This gives us hope that one day, every person with atopic dermatitis will be able to find the exact appropriate treatment that keeps their condition under control.1,3


  1. Rodrigues, M.A. & Torres, T. (2020). The changing landscape of atopic dermatitis – focusing on JAK inhibitors. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 52(1):45-48.
  2. Bieber, T. (2010). Atopic dermatitis. Ann Dermatol. 22(2):125-137.
  3. Boguniewicz, M., Fonacier, L., Guttman-Yassky, E., et al. (2018). Atopic dermatitis yardstick: practical recommendations for an evolving therapeutic landscape. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 120(1):10-22.e2.
  4. Dermatology Times. (2020). “Safety and Efficacy of Biologics in Atopic Dermatitis”, (Accessed July 29, 2022)
  5. Cork, M.J., Thaçi, D., Eichenfield, L.F., et al. (2020). Dupilumab provides favourable long-term safety and efficacy in children aged ≥ 6 to < 12 years with uncontrolled severe atopic dermatitis: results from an open-label phase IIa study and subsequent phase III open-label extension study. Br J Dermatol. 184(5):857-870
  6. Kamata, M. & Tada, Y. (2021). A literature review of real-world effectiveness and safety of dupilumab for atopic dermatitis. JID Innovations. 1(3):100042.
  7. Wollenberg, A., Barbarot, S., Bieber, T., et al. (2018). Consensus-based European guidelines for treatment of atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) in adults and children: part II. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 32:850-878.
  8. Ballard, A. (2021, updated 2022). “JAK Inhibitors are Coming and They are the Biggest Eczema Development in Years”,  (Accessed July 29, 2022)

  9. European Medicines Agency. (2020). “New oral treatment for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis”, (Accessed July 29, 2022)

Health information contained herein is provided for general educational purposes only. Your healthcare professional is the single best source of information regarding your health. Please consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health or treatment.