Current treatment of atopic dermatitis

Sheilagh M. Maguiness, Lyn Guenther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by three main clinical features: pruritus, xerosis, and inflammation. Individuals with this condition are also prone to secondary skin infections. The British Working Party's criteria for atopic dermatitis can be used to make the diagnosis. Although atopic dermatitis typically begins in early childhood, it can persist throughout life. Its remitting and relapsing nature can make treatment difficult. Current treatment encompasses a wide range of topical and oral agents and phototherapy. Until recently, antihistamines and the liberal use of moisturizers were the standard treatment to control pruritus and xerosis, and topical corticosteroids were generally used to control inflammation. As more information about the immune basis of the disease becomes known, new immune-modulating topical therapies (such as tacrolimus and ascomycin derivatives) and systemic agents (such as cyclosporine) are being used to treat it, with promising results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

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