Friday, September 28, 2012

Small study suggests anti-itch "hydrogel" effective

A small study of an anti-itch "hydrogel" conducted in North Carolina showed promising results, according to a report in the dermatology journal Cutis.

The hydrogel would be an alternative to topical steroids.

I couldn't find any information online about the active ingredient in the hydrogel, "Atapro" or R047-26 in the NIH database. Atapro is a product of Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. It would seem to make sense for a company to keep the active ingredient confidential in the early stages--maybe they will need to modify its chemical structure and they don't want their competitors to know what they're working with. But on the other hand, I was easily able to find out the structure of some of Anacor's compounds which are in phase 2 trials.

More than anything, this report reveals how little I know about clinical trials. The study only included 17 subjects, and I'd expect half of them to be controls, so only 8 people were using the product. About seven of the subjects experienced a decrease in itchiness over the trial period. The study would seem to be on the small end of "phase 1," in which the main point is to screen for safety. But there was no explicit mention of what phase the trial might be.

The study details are behind a paywall so I can't find out whether the author had any conflicts of interest. All in all, rather mysterious!


  1. I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but the best anti-itch I ever tried was eating probiotics from home made un-pasteurized sauerkraut, yoghurt and kimchi. This made my eczema go away, and thereby the itch.

    Did you try to make your own yet? It's not very complicated, you can make it in a 2 liter storage jar and don't even need a crock.

    Just don't close storage jar with the lightning closure during fermentation, but with an elastic to let gases escape, and not let oxygen in. you can use two stones for weights, just boil them first.

    Very interesting interview with fermentation guru Sandor Katz:


  2. Please keep on being the broken record. I appreciate the reminders.

    Have you shared links to, or details of, your recipes? Those would be good.

    I have not made any of these foods yet, although as I mentioned, the yogurt I regularly buy is live culture. Frankly, I am not convinced that probiotics are going to solve my own problems, but I like eating those things you list, and I am generally a do-it-yourself kinda guy, so I will get around to it. (Kimchi may work for you but I am wary of all that hot pepper.)