Saturday, January 21, 2012
Improvement or Cure?
The reason why this is important to understand is because thinking about allergies and atopic conditions in these terms can help one cope throughout life. It's optimism tempered with reality. There may one day come a cure (hopefully, soon), but until then, there isn't. So, instead of chasing non-existent cures or expecting miracles from any kind of treatment, what parents and patients should be looking for is the treatment option that leads to the best improvement.
I'll use my atopic dermatitis as an example of improvement. My skin has been visibly affected by over three decades of trauma. At present, I do not have any major flare-ups. Everything is under-control. So, at this moment, it's a question of maintenance. To maintain this level of improvement, I have to ensure that I continue my skin care regimen. It's not romantic or miraculous. I never found a cure and no one thing has lead me to this level that I am at currently.
Still, it's improvement. I don't lay awake itching like I did as a child. I don't have to put socks over my hands, but I do keep my nails short. I don't have to use corticosteroids every day, but I always have some on hand in case I need it.
All of that is improvement. It's not a cure, but it's pretty spectacular nonetheless.