Pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) often vary in disease severity and it can be difficult to assess how much of a topical therapy is needed, said Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego.
Pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis often vary in disease severity and it can be difficult to assess how much of a topical therapy is needed, according to Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and vice-chair and professor of dermatology and pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
How does treating pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis differ from treating adult patients?
Eichenfield: In any patient with atopic dermatitis, we're assessing the severity of the disease and also the course of the disease, the persistence. In pediatric atopic dermatitis, we have this tremendous variation, from young infants who might have disease that's easy to get under control, with traditional mild topical corticosteroids and they just need moisturizers in between, to more severe diseases. But as we go on in an age to the older children and teens, there's always issues in terms of what's an appropriate amount of topical therapy to control disease and keep it under control. It's a lot of work, with different topical agents. We have both our steroids and nonsteroids. We have to work with the families to understand what's a safe amount of medicine to use and to determine if we need something beyond topical medicines to keep the disease under control.