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Atopic dermatitis and alternative management strategies

Anderson, P Chris; Dinulos, James G

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32832130a9
Office pediatrics: Edited by Henry H. Bernstein

Purpose of review To discuss the significance of studies published over the previous year regarding the pathogenesis and treatment of atopic dermatitis, including prevention, skin care, environmental modifications, nutrition, education, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Recent findings Recent evidence shows that 42.5% of the caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis had used alternative therapies, most commonly due to fears of topical steroid side-effects and dissatisfaction with conventional treatment. Common questions, such as the potential utility of prenatal probiotics for prevention of atopic dermatitis, as well as the interplay of food allergies and eczema will be discussed in detail. New research continues to show the efficacy and safety of topical calcineurin inhibitors and atopiclair. We will review advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis, and the latest research on therapies available to clinicians to aid them in discussions with their patients.

Summary Atopic dermatitis impacts negatively the quality of life of both patients and their families. General pediatricians play a pivotal role in the management of this chronic condition. Management should focus on providing sound advice and easing fears regarding topical steroids, as well as pursuing conservative treatments that have the potential to prevent flares.

Section of Dermatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA

Correspondence to P. Chris Anderson, MD, Section of Dermatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA Tel: +1 603 653 9413; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.