By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a new treatment for eczema, that’s offering relief to patients.

Eucrisa was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December.

It works on the overactive part of the immune system in eczema, a protein called phosphodiesterase.

Before, only a pill could quiet this enzyme.

This new formulation can be absorbed through the skin.

Unlike steroids, it can be used in sensitive areas where the skin may already be thin, such as the face, eye lids, and groin.

And it’s approved for use in kids as young as two.

In studies where it was compared to a plain moisturizer, the rash cleared for only one in five in the comparison group, but one in three using Eucrisa.

Researchers did find one minor side effect.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

“About four percent of people who used it had pain when they put the medication on,” Dermatologist Dr. Brian Horvath with Horvath Dermatology says.

But he says that’s not unexpected for people with thin or broken skin.

However, he says Eucrisa may be best for treating what comes with the rash.

“In the studies, this cream did a very nice job with the itch of eczema in particular,” says Dr. Horvath.

Despite the success in studies, Eucrisa won’t be first line treatment yet.

Instead it will be saved for tough to treat cases.

That’s because of the cost.

It costs $600 for an amount weighing as little as 30 paper clips.

“It is expensive and still being worked out which insurances will cover it and which won’t. Right now, there are manufacturer coupons allow people to pick up their medication with no out-of-pocket expense,” Dr. Horvath says.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE