Background: Skin care remains a key component in atopic dermatitis (AD) management; there are no data available guiding optimal bathing recommendations.
Objective: This study aims to determine whether 15-minute to 20-minute baths followed by topical corticosteroid application (prehydration therapy) are effective for clearing moderate to severe AD.
Methods: In the Oregon Health & Science University outpatient dermatology clinic, a retrospective review was done of the health records of patients with AD seen first between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011, who were then reevaluated within 1 to 3 weeks of starting the therapy. Qualifying patients underwent the prehydration regimen and were reevaluated. The primary outcome was therapeutic response using the Investigators’ Global Assessment Scale. Secondary outcomes were measured using the dynamic Treatment Response Scale. Of 110 distinct electronic records, 35 patients were excluded. At the initial visit, 75 patients were evaluated with the Investigators’ Global Assessment Scale. Forty-eight patients (64%) were severe, and 27 patients (36%) were moderate. All subjects began prehydration therapy followed by topical corticosteroid. At follow-up visit in 1 to 3 weeks when using the patient’s or provider’s assessment of treatment response, 59 patients (79%) had marked improvement, and 3 patients (4%) were clear.
Conclusions: Prehydration followed by topical corticosteroid therapy seems to be a highly effective regimen that achieves rapid control of moderate to severe disease.