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atopic dermatitis

Readdressing Recalcitrant Rashes: Alternate Approaches to Atopic Dermatitis

Teaser: 

Linda Yang, BSc,1Joseph M. Lam, MD, FRCPC,2

1 Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
2Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Member, Department of Dermatology and Skin Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Atopic dermatitis is a common pediatric disease with a chronic relapsing-remitting course, causing distress to patients and family. In patients who remain recalcitrant following treatment with topical steroids, adjunctive therapies including bleach baths, wet wraps and phototherapy as well as systemic immunosuppressants may be considered. Many novel therapies are in development and act on various aspects of the immunologic cascades involved in atopic dermatitis. The following review briefly summarizes up-to-date evidence for the use of these therapies in the pediatric population.
Key Words: atopic dermatitis, pediatric disease, therapies.
Topical corticosteroids, the first-line treatment for atopic dermatitis, can be optimized with usage of an appropriate amount and within a supportive, therapeutic alliance.
Those who fail to improve with topical corticosteroids may benefit from adjunctive treatment with wet wraps, bleach baths and phototherapy with narrowband UV therapy. These have been shown to be efficacious with a minimal side effect profile.
In those who remain recalcitrant, a brief course of immunosuppressants may be indicated. Methotrexate, azathioprine and cyclosporine have evidence in the pediatric population. Of these, methotrexate has been shown to have the most sustained duration of remission.
A recent explosion of novel immunomodulators and biologics may redefine atopic dermatitis treatment. Crisaborole is a topical PDE4 inhibitor, which has been approved for used in children. Dupilumab is an injectable monoclonal antibody, which has recently been approved for the adult population and remains off-label in pediatrics.
Monotherapy when possible and regular check-ins with parents can improve adherence to topical steroid regimens, particularly within the first 3 days of treatment.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the use of bleach baths (1/2 cup of 6% household bleach in a 150L bathtub full of water) for 5 to 10-minute intervals 2-3 times weekly as an adjunct to topicals.
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The Role of Nutraceuticals in Atopic Dermatitis

The Role of Nutraceuticals in Atopic Dermatitis

Teaser: 

Jacky Lo, MD,1 Joseph M. Lam, MD, FRCSC,2

1 is a resident in the Family Medicine Residency at the University of British Columbia. He was previously a registered dietitian at the College of Dietitians in BC.
2is a pediatric dermatologist and a clinical assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Dermatology at the University of British Columbia.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing and remitting dermatosis with no definitive cure. Because treatment often remains challenging, the use of nutraceuticals has been gaining popularity as an alternative therapy.
Key Words: Nutraceuticals, atopic dermatitis, prevention, treatment.
The use of prebiotics in formula fed infants may reduce the incidence of AD up until two years of life.
The use of prenatal and/or postnatal probiotics, especially with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium, has been shown to reduce the incidence of AD. However, the evidence for its long-term effects appears to be inconsistent.
There is conflicting evidence regarding the use of vitamin D alone and zinc in the treatment of AD.
Routine supplementation of vitamin E alone and selenium does not appear to be beneficial in the treatment of AD.
While the use of fish oil has not been shown to have any statistically significant benefit in the treatment of AD, its use has been associated with improved quality of life, reduction in area affected in a pooled analysis of two studies and pruritus in one study.
Education plays an important in the management of AD and emphasis should be made to explore patients' reasons for turning to alternative therapies.
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Top Ten Tips for Atopic Tots

Top Ten Tips for Atopic Tots

Teaser: 

Katia Faustini, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
Joseph M Lam, MD, FRCP(C), Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Member, Department of Dermatology and Skin Sciences, University of British Columbia.


Abstract
Atopic dermatitis is the most common inflammatory skin condition affecting children. Given the complex waxing and waning nature of this common dermatologic condition, patient education and frequent family physician involvement, is the key to proper long term management. While topical steroids have long been accepted as the standard therapy in management of eczema, concern over its side effects by both family doctors and patients greatly impact compliance. Topical steroids are safe and efficacious if used properly. This article examines the top ten things to know about atopic dermatitis in order to properly and safely manage this chronic disease.
Keywords: atopic dermatitis, inflammatory skin condition, topical corticosteroids.