The Aron Regimen is named for Dr. Richard Aron, a dermatologist based in the UK who has been treating atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), for forty years. Dr. Aron has many patients and former patients who are fans of his work, crediting his approach with successfully treating their AD, including people with severe eczema 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
Mixing the topical corticosteroid and topical antibiotic is not revolutionary, but it may be an important step. Many people with AD 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 AD, secretes a toxin that can induce eczema, even on healthy skin.2,3
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 corticosteroid is usually matched to the severity of the AD, with higher potencies being used in people with more severe eczema. 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 the prolonged use of an antibiotic may increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is possible, but the need for antibiotics on skin affected by AD may outweigh the risk.2
Another concern is the longer-term use of topical corticosteroids in the Aron Regimen and the risk of side effects. The possible side effects from 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
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
Dr. Richard Aron website. Accessed online on 8/30/17 at http://www.draron.com.
National Eczema Association. Accessed online on 8/30/17 at https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-care-the-aron-regimen/.
Nakamura Y, Oscherwitz J, Cease KB, Chan SM, Muñoz-Planillo R, Hasegawa M, Villaruz AE, Cheung GY, McGavin MJ, Travers JB, Otto M, Inohara N, Núñez G. Staphylococcus δ-toxininduces allergic skin disease by activating mast cells. Nature. 2013 Nov 21;503(7476):397-401. doi: 10.1038/nature12655.
Eichenfield LF, Tom WL, Chamilin SL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014;71:116-32.