Treatment strategies for atopic dermatitis: optimizing the available therapeutic options

Paller, A. S.; Simpson, E. L.; Eichenfield, L. F.; Ellis, C. N.; Mancini, A. J.

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Oct 17; 31(3 Suppl):S10-7

Abstract

Bathing and moisturization to control dryness, applications of topical anti-inflammatory agents (including corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors [TCIs]) to control flares, minimization of the risk for infection, and relief of pruritus are the cornerstones of effective therapy for atopic dermatitis. Education of parents and patients is crucial to enhance adherence. Strategies for reduced Staphylococcus aureus colonization may help control re-emergence of flares following cessation of antimicrobial treatment for infection; these include dilute bleach baths and minimizing the risk for contamination of topical agents. In severe, refractory cases, more aggressive therapy with systemic immunosuppressants may be considered, but appropriate laboratory testing must be included as part of patient monitoring during treatment. The value of adjuvant therapy with wet wraps to "cool down" particularly erythematous and pruritic flares is becoming increasingly recognized.

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