Kwame Baird’s always remembers scratching. From a very young age, he had eczema that gave him an itchy, bumpy rash. He tried everything to ease his agony, including slathering himself with petroleum jelly and soaking in oatmeal baths. These solutions would help for a bit. But then he’d start scratching again.
“I didn’t really find any relief. Really, temporary relief if anything at all,” Baird, 39 of the Bronx, told TODAY. “When I’m getting ready in the morning, I would have to account for the extra time it would take to put on lotion or Vaseline from head to toe. And then I would also have to be cognizant of where I was in case I needed to slip away to the bathroom to put on more lotion.”
But a new drug, upadacitinib, that he took in a clinical trial might be the answer for him and others like him who found no relief in available eczema treatments. A paper in the Lancet online showed reductions in symptoms in people with moderate and severe eczema in the stage 3 clinical trials. People involved in the trial took an oral medication once a day.
“At first it was surprising. I was just waiting for the dream to end, to be honest,” Baird said. “Just imagine going through your whole life with this condition, trying all types of things, and nothing works.”