What is the Aron Regimen?
The Aron Regimen is named for Dr. Richard Aron, a dermatologist based in the UK who has been treating atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, for forty years. Dr. Aron has many patients and former patients who are fans of his work, crediting his approach with successfully treating their skin condition, including people with severe atopic dermatitis for whom other treatment approaches haven’t worked. Although based in the UK, he does offer online consultations for patients worldwide.1
What’s different about the Aron Regimen?
While Dr. Aron customizes his recommendations for the individual patient, the major difference in his approach is to combine a topical corticosteroid, topical antibiotic and a moisturizer into one product that patients apply to their skin up to six times a day (the frequency usually decreases after the first week, depending on the individual patient). While the application is more frequent than usual, many patients find it is simpler having just one product.1,2
Antibiotics for skin infections
Mixing the topical corticosteroid and topical antibiotic is not revolutionary, but it may be an important step. Many people with atopic dermatitis have an abnormally high number of bacteria on their skin, which can easily lead to skin infections. Some research has also suggested that the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which is commonly found on the skin of people with atopic dermatitis secretes a toxin that can induce flares, even on people who don't live with the skin condition.2,3
Topical corticosteroid strength
The topical corticosteroid in the Aron Regimen mixture is a low-potency version. Some doctors recommend exactly the opposite: using a high potency corticosteroid for short periods of time. The potency of corticosteroids is usually matched to the severity of atopic dermatitis, with higher potencies being used in people with more severe cases. However, Dr. Aron recommends the low-potency corticosteroid, even for those with more severe disease.1,2,4
What are the concerns about the Aron Regimen?
One of the concerns other doctors have about the Aron Regimen is that prolonged use of an antibiotic may increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is possible, but the need for antibiotics on skin affected by atopic dermatitis may outweigh the risk.2
Topical corticosteroid side effects
Another concern is the longer-term use of topical corticosteroids in the Aron Regimen and the risk of side effects. The possible side effects of corticosteroid use include thinning of the skin, changes to the color of the skin, stretch marks, and dilated blood vessels. Side effects are more common with higher potency corticosteroids, and Dr. Aron remarks on his website that the steroid in his recommended method is significantly diluted in the moisturizer and has less chance of causing side effects.1,2
While there is a lot of online discussion about Dr. Aron and his methods, it’s worth noting that the Aron Regimen is not a cure-all. Every person's experience with atopic dermatitis is individual; the Aron Regimen isn’t successful 100% of the time.2
Cost of the Aron Regimen
The Aron Regimen requires a specific mixture of ingredients, which must be ordered through a compounding pharmacy. This may be costlier for some patients.2
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