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Eczema treatment given positive option by NICE

By Nigel Praities

NICE has approved a new treatment for difficult-to-treat hand ezcema derived from vitamin A for use on the NHS.

The technology appraisal recommends the oral retinoid treatment alitretinoin for adults with severe chronic hand eczema that has not responded to potent topical corticosteroids.

NICE says treatment should only be given by dermatologists or physicians with experience in both managing severe chronic hand eczema and the use of systemic retinoids - which may include GPs with a special interest in dermatology.

Treatment should be stopped as soon as a response has been achieved, or if an adequate response has not been achieved after 24 weeks.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at NICE said: ‘Severe chronic hand eczema can affect a person's ability to use their hands, as well as potentially impacting on work and social aspects of their lives.

‘This new guidance recommending alitretinoin will offer hope to adults whose severe chronic hand eczema hasn't been helped by strong topical corticosteroids.'

Attend the Pulse seminar: Dermatology update 2012

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