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Dermatology Online Journal

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A possible role for dupilumab (Dupixent) in the management of idiopathic chronic eczematous eruption of aging


Aging individuals can develop generalized, exquisitely-pruritic, eczematous eruptions of uncertain etiology that can be therapeutically-refractory and life-altering. Limited information exists in the literature to guide clinicians in the diagnosis and management of such patients. It is suggested that in approximately 40% of such patients a known cause for their chronic pruritic eruptions cannot be identified. In this report we will refer to this subgroup of patients as having idiopathic chronic eczematous eruption of aging (CEEA). Idiopathic CEEA must be distinguished from other established eczematous dermatoses. Idiopathic CEEA patients often require long-term systemic immunosuppressive drugs to make living bearable. Elder-onset atopic dermatitis is the most difficult of the known dermatoses to distinguish from idiopathic CEEA. Because of their clinical similarities we questioned whether dupilumab (Dupixent®), the first FDA-approved biologic for atopic dermatitis, might be valuable in the management of idiopathic CEEA. We report the case of an elderly man with idiopathic CEEA of four-years’ duration who had a complete clinical response to the initiation of treatment with dupilumab. This case is presented to stimulate more discussion and systematic study of a possible role for dupilumab in otherwise-refractory idiopathic CEEA patients. We also propose a set of diagnostic criteria for idiopathic CEEA.

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