Exosomes: Finally An Effective Treatment for Eczema?
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This condition causes dry, itchy, and inflamed patches on the skin. Despite the lack of a clear cause, researchers have identified skin barrier function can possibly be an essential component of the development and management of eczema. This blog examines how the skin barrier affects eczema and how it can be improved.
Eczema may also be triggered by allergies or irritants. Among the most common triggers are harsh soaps, detergents, fragrances, and certain fabrics. The symptoms can also be exacerbated by environmental factors such as dry weather or low humidity.
1. Structure and Function of the Skin Barrier:
It is also known as the stratum corneum or outermost layer of the skin. A primary function of the skin barrier is to protect against allergens, irritants, microbes, and excessive water loss from the body. A tightly packed structure of lipids, proteins, and corneocytes forms the skin barrier, preventing water loss and keeping the skin hydrated.
2. Impaired Skin Barrier in Eczema:
Eczema patients often suffer from compromised skin barriers. Dysregulation of the immune system, genetic factors, and environmental triggers all contribute to the impairment of skin barrier function. The stratum corneum is disrupted in eczematous skin, allowing moisture to escape and irritants to penetrate. The results are increased redness, itching, and dryness.
3. Barrier Dysfunction and Allergic Sensitization:
Eczema's compromised skin barrier allows irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin. A skin inflammatory response is caused by allergenic substances penetrating the skin. Eczema can be made worse by this, causing more inflammation and itching. Developing allergies and sensitivities can be caused by prolonged contact with allergens through the impaired skin barrier.
4. Impact on Skin Microbiome:
The skin microbiome is composed of a variety of microorganisms that play a vital role in maintaining skin health. When the skin barrier is disrupted, the skin microbiome is altered in composition and diversity. The proliferation of certain bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, further aggravates eczema-prone skin. The skin microbiome must be restored in order to manage eczema symptoms.
5. Treatment Approaches:
Developing targeted treatments for eczema has been made possible by understanding the possible role played by the skin barrier. Skin barrier function should be restored and reinforced with emollients and moisturizers, as well as water loss reduced and skin hydration can be improved. Medications that relieve inflammation and control flare-ups include topical corticosteroids and immunomodulators.
Does Strengthening the Skin Barrier An Effective Approach to Treat Eczema?
Researchers have shown promising results when it comes to strengthening the skin barrier as a treatment for eczema. Efforts to repair and reinforce the skin barrier significantly improved eczema symptoms, such as itching, redness, and dryness, according to a systematic review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
There have been several approaches studied and employed to strengthen the skin barrier in individuals suffering from eczema. The goal of these methods is to improve the skin's overall condition by restoring and enhancing the stratum corneum's function. Strategies commonly used include:
By using emollients and moisturizers regularly and consistently, skin's natural oils can be replenished and hydration is improved, thus enhancing its barrier function.
2. Topical Steroids:
A topical corticosteroid may be prescribed to treat severe eczema and restore the skin barrier. It should, however, be avoided if used for a long period of time due to potential side effects.
3. Barrier Repair Creams:
A number of ingredients in these creams are designed to mimic and reinforce the skin's natural barrier, which promotes the skin's resilience and integrity against external irritations.
4. Gentle Cleansers:
The skin's natural oil barrier can be compromised further by harsh soaps and cleansers. Gently cleansing the skin can help maintain its pH balance and prevent excessive drying.
5. Exosomes Therapy. Possibly:
Exosomes are extracellular vesicles released naturally by different types of cells, including skin cells. The cargo of these cells is composed of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids that can influence the function and behavior of recipient cells. Due to their immunomodulatory and regenerative properties, exosomes may offer potential treatment for a wide range of inflammations, including eczema. In simpler terms, Exosomes Therapy is similar to sending a parcel in the mail; the parcel contains a variety of items that will have an effect on the recipient once it is delivered. Like parcels, exosomes carry molecules that can influence the cells and ultimately affect their function.
Role of Exosomes in Repairing the Skin Barrier:
Several preclinical and clinical studies have investigated the efficacy of exosomes in repairing the skin barrier in eczema. These studies have shown promising results, demonstrating that exosome-based therapies can:
1. Enhancing Epidermal Differentiation:
Epidermal differentiation is the process by which cells in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, become mature and specialized. This process involves the production of proteins such as keratin and other molecules that form the skin's protective barrier. Ceramides, the major constituents of the lamellar barrier, has been shown to contribute greatly to the differentiation of keratinocytes, and subsequently to the epidermal barrier function
In the epidermis, keratinocytes are the predominant cells, and exosomes stimulate differentiation. As a result, the stratum corneum becomes more robust and intact, improving the skin's barrier properties.
2. Modulating Inflammation:
Eczema is characterised by chronic inflammation, which disrupts the skin barrier. By suppressing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, exosomes promote the production of anti-inflammatory molecules. Exosomes can alleviate inflammation and restore the skin barrier in skin with eczematous skin by modulating the inflammatory response.
3. Promoting Skin Regeneration:
Skin regeneration is facilitated by exosomes, which stimulate the proliferation and migration of skin cells. For maintaining elasticity and integrity of the skin, they can enhance the synthesis of collagen and elastin.
4. Improve Skin Hydration:
It has been found that exosome treatment may enhances the barrier function of the skin, reduces transepidermal water loss, and increases the epidermis' water retention.
5. Enhance Skin Integrity:
Through the synthesis of skin proteins, ceramides and lipids, exosome therapy promotes the integrity and resilience of the skin barrier.
Does That Mean That Exosome is An Effective Treatment for Eczema?
Exosomes have shown great promise in repairing the skin barrier in eczema. They can restore the compromised skin barrier, alleviate inflammation, and stimulate skin regeneration due to their regenerative and immunomodulating properties. The potential of exosome-based therapies for treating eczema is encouraging, although further research is necessary to understand the mechanisms and optimize them. Research on exosomes may offer new hope for individuals suffering from eczema and other skin barrier-related conditions with continued advancements.