4 myths and misconceptions of living with moderate-to-severe eczema

Sponsored by Pfizer

Living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis – also known as eczema – can be challenging.[1] In addition to having the physical burden that includes flare-ups of red, itchy, painful skin, there can also be a significant emotional and social impact.[2],[3],[4],[5] But those living with eczema aren’t alone. Eczema is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin diseases, impacting people of all genders, races, ethnicities and ages.[2],[6],[7],[8] There’s no time like the present to learn more about moderate-to-severe eczema, and to myth bust four common misconceptions about this condition.

Myth: Most people grow out of their eczema

Eczema most often occurs in babies and children. While childhood eczema may go away or get better with age, about 50% of pediatric patients may have recurrent symptoms into adolescence and adulthood.[9],[10] In fact, there are about 6.6 million adults living with moderate-to-severe eczema in the U.S.

Myth: Eczema is “just a rash”

While eczema is often defined by itchy, dry, scaly or red skin, its reach extends beyond the surface of the skin.[8] The physical burden of eczema can be relentless and demanding with a constant cycle of itching and scratching.[2],[5]

A study of over 1,000 people showed that about 6 in 10 people struggle to control their moderate-to-severe eczema. It’s important to tell your doctor about your eczema signs and symptoms. This can help them suggest a treatment plan that’s right for you.[11]

Myth: The cause of eczema is the same for everyone

Eczema occurs when inflammation of the skin and skin barrier defects change your skin’s ability to hold moisture. This can make your skin dry and easily irritated.[2],[8] There are a number of things that can trigger eczema flares, including genetic, environmental and emotional factors.[2]

For example, a child may be more likely to develop eczema if their parent has eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma or food allergy.[12] Some fabrics, food, sweat or even stress can also cause flares.[2] Some research suggests that stress makes it harder for your skin to recover from damage caused by eczema.[13] This extended healing time can then cause more stress — adding to a continuous cycle of stress and eczema.[13]

Myth: Topical creams and ointments are the only options available to treat moderate-to-severe eczema

Although there is no cure for eczema, there are different treatment options available. Appropriate options depend on different factors, such as age, eczema severity and previous treatment history.[14],[15] While current therapeutic approaches do include applying over-the-counter moisturizers and emollients, or prescription topicals, there are also oral and injectable medications, and phototherapy.[12] One option may be CIBINQO (abrocitinib) – a once-daily prescription pill to treat adults with moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) that did not respond to other treatment and is not well controlled with prescription medicines, including biologics, or when they cannot be tolerated.[16] Learn more at www.CIBINQO.com.

If you’ve had success with CIBINQO, consider sharing your story to help inspire others at www.CIBINQO.com/share-your-experience. It can feel great to make a positive impact for others, especially those who may be struggling.


CIBINQO may cause serious side effects, including:

Serious infections. CIBINQO can lower your immune system’s ability to fight infections. Do not start CIBINQO if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Serious infections, including tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body, have occurred in people taking CIBINQO or other similar medicines. Some people have died from these infections. Your risk of developing shingles may increase while taking CIBINQO.

Your healthcare provider should test you for TB before treatment with CIBINQO and monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB infection during treatment.

Before and after starting CIBINQO, tell your doctor right away if you have an infection, are being treated for one, or have symptoms of an infection, including:

  • fever, sweating, or chills
  • muscle aches
  • cough or shortness of breath
  • blood in your phlegm
  • weight loss
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • burning when you urinate or urinating more often than usual
  • feeling very tired

CIBINQO can make you more likely to get infections or worsen infections you have.

There is an increased risk of death in people 50 years and older who have at least one heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor (such as CIBINQO).

Cancer and immune system problems. CIBINQO may increase your risk of certain cancers by changing the way your immune system works. Lymphoma and other cancers, including skin cancers, can happen. People, especially current or past smokers, have a higher risk of certain cancers, including lymphoma and lung cancers, while taking a JAK inhibitor. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice about having your skin checked for skin cancer during treatment. Limit the amount of time you spend in sunlight and avoid using tanning beds or sunlamps. When in the sun, wear protective clothing and use SPF 30+ sunscreen. This is especially important if you have very fair skin or a family history of skin cancer. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

There is an increased risk of major cardiovascular (CV) events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people 50 years and older who have at least one heart disease (CV) risk factor and are taking a JAK inhibitor, especially for current or past smokers.

Some people taking CIBINQO have had major cardiovascular events.

Get emergency help right away if you develop any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking CIBINQO, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded

Blood clots. Blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT) or lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE) can happen in some people taking CIBINQO. This may be life-threatening. Blood clots in the veins of the legs and lungs have happened more often in people 50 years and older, with at least one heart disease (CV) risk factor, taking a JAK inhibitor. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs in the past.

Get medical help right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots including swelling, pain, or tenderness in one or both legs; sudden, unexplained chest or upper back pain; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Changes in certain laboratory test results. Your doctor should do blood tests before and during treatment with CIBINQO to check your lymphocyte, neutrophil, red blood cell, and platelet counts. You should not take CIBINQO if these counts are too low. Your healthcare provider may stop treatment for a period of time if there are changes in these blood test results. You may also have changes in other laboratory tests, such as your blood cholesterol levels. Your doctor should do blood tests about 4 weeks after you start treatment and 4 weeks after any increase in dose to check blood cell counts and as often as needed for other laboratory tests.

During the first 3 months of treatment with CIBINQO, do not take medicines that prevent blood clots except low-dose aspirin (≤81 mg daily), if prescribed.

Before taking CIBINQO, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have an infection, are being treated for one, or have one that won’t go away or keeps returning
  • have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
  • have had shingles (herpes zoster)
  • have had hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • live, have lived, or traveled to certain areas (such as Ohio & Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections. These infections may happen or worsen when taking CIBINQO. Ask your healthcare provider if you’re unsure if you have lived in an area where these infections are common
  • have had any type of cancer
  • have had blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs
  • are a current or past smoker
  • have had a heart attack, other heart problems, or stroke
  • have kidney or liver problems
  • have abnormal blood tests (low platelet count or white blood cell count)
  • have any eye problems, including cataracts or retinal detachment
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. People who take CIBINQO should not receive live vaccines
  • are or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CIBINQO will harm your unborn baby. Pfizer has a Pregnancy Exposure Registry for pregnant women who take CIBINQO to check your health and the health of your baby. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking CIBINQO, ask your healthcare provider how you can join this pregnancy registry or call 1-877-311-3770 to enroll
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if CIBINQO passes into your breast milk. You should not take CIBINQO while breastfeeding
  • are taking other medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. CIBINQO and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take aspirin or any antiplatelet therapies. Ask your healthcare provider if you are unsure

The most common side effects of CIBINQO include common cold, nausea, headache, herpes simplex including cold sores, increased blood level of creatinine phosphokinase, dizziness, urinary tract infection, tiredness, acne, vomiting, mouth and throat pain, flu, stomach flu, bacterial skin infection, high blood pressure, allergic skin rash to something you contacted, stomach pain, shingles, and low platelet count.

CIBINQO may cause fertility problems in females, which may affect the ability of females to get pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about fertility.

Separation or tear to the lining of the back part of the eye (retinal detachment) has happened in people treated with CIBINQO. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any sudden changes in your vision.

These are not all of the possible side effects of CIBINQO.

What is CIBINQO (si-BINK-oh)?
CIBINQO (abrocitinib) is a prescription medicine to treat adults with moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) that did not respond to other treatment and is not well controlled with prescription medicines, including biologics, or when they cannot be tolerated.

It is not known if CIBINQO is safe and effective in children.

You are encouraged to report adverse events related to Pfizer products by calling 1-800-438-1985 (U.S. only). If you prefer, you may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly. Visit www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

CIBINQO is available in 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg pills.

Please click for full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING, and Medication Guide or visit CIBINQO.com

This article is sponsored by Pfizer Inc.



[1] Hanifin JM, Reed ML. A population-based survey of eczema in the United States. Dermatitis.2007;18(2):82-91.

[2] Bieber T. Atopic dermatitis. Dermatology. 2012;1(3):203-217.

[3] Lifschitz C. The impact of atopic dermatitis on quality of life. Ann Nutr Metab. 2015;66(suppl 1):24-40.

[4] Zuberbier T, Orlow SJ, Paller AS, et al. Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;118(1):226-232.

[5] Anderson RT, Rajagopalan R. Effects of allergic dermatosis on health-related quality of life. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2001;1:309-315.

[6] Kaufman BP, Guttman-Yassky E, Alexis AF. Atopic dermatitis in diverse racial and ethnic groups-Variations in epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation and treatment. Exp Dermatol. 2018;27:340-357.

[7] Atar-Snir V. Gender and Dermatology. In: Tur E., Maibach H. (eds). Atopic Dermatitis. Springer. 2018;243-248.

[8] Akdis CA, Akdis M, Bieber T, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis in children and adults: European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology/American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology/PRACTALL consensus report. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;118:115-169.

[9] Leung DYM. New insights into atopic dermatitis: role of skin barrier and immune dysregulation. Allergol Intl. 2013;62(2):151-161.

[10] Williams HC. Clinical practice. Atopic dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(22):2314-2324.

[11] Wei, W., Anderson, P., Gadkari, A., Blackburn, S., Moon, R., Piercy, J., Shinde, S., Gomez, J., & Ghorayeb, E. (2018). Extent and consequences of inadequate disease control among adults with a history of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. The Journal of dermatology, 45(2), 150–157. https://doi.org/10.1111/1346-8138.14116

[12] Eichenfield LF, Wynnis TL, Chamlin SL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: part 1: diagnosis and assessment of atopic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70(2):338-351.

[13] Bekić S, Martinek V, Talapko J, Majnarić L, Vasilj Mihaljević M, Škrlec I. Atopic Dermatitis and Comorbidity. Healthcare. 2020;8(2):70. doi:10.3390/healthcare8020070

[14] Ellis C, Luger T, Abeck D, et al. International consensus conference on atopic dermatitis II (ICCAD II*): clinical update and current treatment strategies. Br J Dermatol. 2003;148(Suppl. 63):3-10.

[15] Boguniewicz M, Fonacier L, Guttman-Yassky E, Ong PY, Silverberg J, Farrar JR. Atopic dermatitis yardstick: practical recommendations for an evolving therapeutic landscape. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018;120(1):10-22.

[16] CIBINQO (abrocitinib). Full Prescribing Information. January 2022.

Source link

Scroll to Top