Drs Krakowski and Eichenfeld pointed out that based on these new understandings of AD pathogenesis, an emphasis of therapy has been on barrier repair. Novel barrier repair creams can be used as adjuncts to conventional topical therapies, such as corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors, or as long-term maintenance therapy.
One of the most promising agents in these creams is palmitamide MEA, or palmitoylethanolamide. There are a number of such protective and reparative creams available, with varying concentrations of PMEA in these creams, for instance 0,3% PMEA in Physiogel (Stiefel) up to 1,5% PMEA in PEA cream (Russell Science).
There have been a number of clinical trials published since 2005 on the efficacy and safety of PEA creams, and all these trial results point out that PEA containing creams:
1. Reduce itching, redness, edema and other symptoms of atopic dermatitis,
2. Reduce the necessity to use high potent corticosteroid creams,
3. Decrease the chances of flare-ups,
4. Increase the symptom-free intervals between ecxacerbations/ aggravation of eczema,
5. Protect against skin damage induced by UV light and radiation during treatment of cancer
PMEA, or PEA, is a natural fat present in our skin and its function is protection of keratinocytes and other skin-cells against all kinds of damage and repair such damage. In skin which is chronically stressed, such as in atopic eczema/dermatitis and skin after chronic radiation, the amount of PEA is reduced. By applying PEA containing cream, one can replenish the skin with this remarkable natural fatty compound and start the process of reparation and protection.
Source: Krakowski, A; Eichenfeld, LF. Atopic dermatitis basics: three common myths debunked. Practical dermatology for pediatrics, 2010 (May-June): 39-42