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Guidelines Provided for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis Management

Individualization of treatment plans crucial, as well as communication with patients, caregivers

THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Guidelines have been developed for the management of pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis at the primary care level. The guidelines were published as a state-of-the-art review article online Aug. 3 in Pediatrics.

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues assessed recent treatment guidelines in terms of evaluation criteria, treatment recommendations, usability, accessibility, and applicability to non-specialists. They then integrated current clinical evidence into the guidelines to present a streamlined severity-based treatment model, which could be applied to the management of most atopic dermatitis cases.

The researchers note that the treatment model proposed is specifically designed for pediatricians and primary care providers, and is relevant regardless of atopic dermatitis severity. Individualization of treatment plans is crucial because each patient’s situation is unique. In addition, efficient communication and implementation of the plan with patients and caregivers is critical. Practical suggestions are provided such as choosing a moisturizer formulation, avoiding common triggers, educating patients/caregivers, providing written treatment plans, and scheduling physician follow-up.

“Because the course of atopic dermatitis varies from patient to patient, it is critical to design treatment plans based on patients’/caregivers’ individual preferences and needs, including patient age, family lifestyle, preference for topical treatment formulation, and pattern of lesions and flares,” the authors write. “Treatment plans should be continually optimized and refined during regular follow-ups.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which funded the study.

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