Robert Sidbury, MD, MPH, chief, division of dermatology, Seattle Children's Hospital, discussed the emergence of effective therapies for the management of atopic dermatitis and how dermatologists and other providers involved in patient care can better promote earlier use of these treatments.
It is incumbent upon all dermatologists to advise patients, pediatricians, and other providers involved in the management of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) on the availability of novel effective therapies, said Robert Sidbury, MD, MPH, chief of the division of dermatology at Seattle Children's Hospital.
What strategies can promote earlier and more aggressive treatment for AD?
I think part of the issue has been that for so long, we've had, frankly, inadequate treatments. So, I left my fellowship in the year 2000. From the year 2001 to 2017, after the topical calcineurin inhibitors came out, there wasn't a single new molecule that came out for AD.
So, if I saw a patient around that time, and their parent came in, and their parent had eczema, they would have said: 'Oh, wow, this sounds like a very similar discussion that I had 15 years ago with my own doctor, and back then they told me there weren't any cures, there weren't very effective treatments and I just got another topical steroid, and I sort of gave up hope on that.' They might then, sort of by proxy, give up hope for their kids that there's anything wildly different.
Well, that's not the case now. And so I think it's incumbent upon all of us dermatologists to promote this message—pediatricians hopefully receiving this message when they get our patients back with like: 'Oh, wow, what's this new medication they're on?' Or 'Oh, wow, didn't you have horrible eczema? Didn't I see rash all over you the last time and I don't now?'
So, I think it's part and parcel of that message disseminating through all sorts of messaging. Providers, parents, and then kids themselves when they start getting better, I'm sure ,are going to be using their social media channels to say: 'Hey, there's more going on now.'