With the recent development of various new treatments, April Armstrong, MD, MPH, discusses the new standards she and other dermatologists hope to set for treating patients with atopic dermatitis (AD).
April Armstrong, MD, MPH, professor and chief of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses the new standards she and other dermatologists hope to set with the recent emergence of various new and improved atopic dermatitis (AD) treatment developments.
Since so many new and improved treatments have recently been developed, what is the "new standard" you hope to set for treating patients with atopic dermatitis?
When we think about new standards for the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis, I think it's very important to establish treatment goals. Treatment goals are something, for example, in the psoriasis field, we have had for a while, and it's relatively more mature than other areas of inflammatory skin disease.
I think having treatment goals and having these new standards really forces us to think about where we can get our patients, and it almost pushes us to make sure that, when we see each patient in front of us, we have an established goal in our mind for the patient and the patient also knows that we are working together in concert toward that common goal. I think without that either the patient or we may be complacent at a stage where the patient's really not optimally managed, and the patient may not even know what is possible.
I think, as a community, we are looking at what those goals should be, and there have been several proposals that have been made around what that should be. I think, overall, we are trying to find our footing in terms of defining the treatment goals, and then, importantly, how to convince our colleagues to achieve these treatment goals so that we are really working together, methodically and strategically, to make sure that we are monitoring the patient progress and using appropriate therapy to get them to the goal as quickly as possible.