What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Information for Patients and Caregivers
Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a common skin disease. It often starts in childhood and may continue into adulthood.“Atopic” means a tendency to develop allergies.“Dermatitis” means irritated skin, due to inflammation. Inflammation is the body response to infection or being hurt. Inflamed skin may look red or swollen, and feel warm or hot. We do not know why the skin becomes inflamed in atopic dermatitis but this condition tends to run in families. Many people with atopic dermatitis also have another allergic condition such as asthma, hay fever, or food allergy.
Atopic dermatitis causes very itchy, dry, rough skin and skin rashes.The itch can be very annoying during the day and make it hard to sleep at night. Children who cannot sleep may keep their families awake. Not enough sleep may make it harder for children to do their schoolwork and behave at school. Adults may feel tired at work. Some children and adults are embarrassed about the skin rash and wear clothes to cover it. Feeling tired may make it harder to socialize and leaves some people feeling depressed. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious—other people cannot catch it from you.
The itch, rash, dryness, and other symptoms of atopic dermatitis typically come and go.You can do a lot to control atopic dermatitis.
Bathe every day with a gentle, non-soap cleanser.
Then gently pat the skin mostly but not completely dry and apply any cream, lotion, or ointment that your clinician has prescribed.Then use a moisturizer on the areas where you did not apply the medication. Apply moisturizer as needed to control itch and dryness,
not only after the bath or shower.You may need to use moisturizer more often in the winter. Moisturizing before bedtime may help you or your child sleep. Do not apply moisturizer right after using medication but apply moisturizer to treated areas at times of the day when you are not using the medication.
Participants should read the activity information, review the activity in its entirety, and complete the online post-test and evaluation. Upon completing this activity as designed and achieving a passing score on the post-test, you will be directed to a Web page that will allow you to receive your certificate of credit via e-mail or you may print it out at that time.The online post-test and evaluation can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/atopicdermsupl2017.
Inquiries about CME accreditation may be directed to the University of Louisville Office of Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development (CME & PD) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 852-5329.
Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD
Linda F. Stein Gold, MD
Wynnis L. Tom, MD
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accor- dance with the requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Louisville and Global Academy for Medical Education, LLC. The University of Louisville is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Louisville Office of Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Nurses: Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.This educational activity for 1.6 contact hour is provided by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine. Designated for 0.8 contact hours of pharmacotherapy credit for Advance Practice Nurses.
Recent research into the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis has yielded two new treatments—the first ones to receive US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for management of this condition in more than a decade. Both new therapies offer novel mechanisms of action. Crisaborole, a topical medi- cation that inhibits the phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) enzyme, is approved for the treatment of mild to moderate disease in adults and children as young as 2 years old. Dupilumab, the first biologic therapy approved for use in atopic dermatitis, inhibits interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13. It is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe disease in adults whose disease is inadequately controlled with topical prescription therapies, or when those therapies are inadvisable.
Awareness of the substantial impact atopic dermatitis can have on quality of life can facilitate patient-clinician conversations about treatment goals. Such discussions may influence shared decision-making about therapeutic choices.
Therapeutic patient education has been applied to a variety of conditions and is now being studied in atopic dermatitis.
Food allergy and infection represent common comorbidities in patients with atopic dermatitis. New information about the benefit of the early introduction of peanuts to the diet has surfaced in recent years. Alterations in the skin microbiome may underlie the association of colonization and infection in atopic dermatitis. Preliminary research attempts to deploy the atopic patient’s “good” bacteria to reduce Staphylococcus aureus colonization.
Brief, expert reviews of the literature in these areas can help busy providers stay current in a rapidly evolving field, and can facilitate the translation of research into clinical practice to improve outcomes.
By reading and studying this supplement, participants should be better able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of how atopic dermatitis can affect patient sleep, quality of life, daily activities, risk of comorbidities, and health care utilization/cost
- Explain the mechanism of action and clinical trials data supporting recently approved treatments for atopic dermatitis
- Discuss investigation therapies for atopic dermatitis
- Apply recent recommendations for evaluation of candidates for systemic treatment of atopic dermatitis
- Explain the benefit of providing patients with a written action plan
- Analyze the relationships of food allergy and infection to atopic dermatitis.
Individuals in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose: 1) the existence of any relevant financial relationship with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients with the exemption of non-profit or government organizations and non-health care related companies, within the past 12 months; and 2) the identification of a commercial product/device that is unlabeled for use or an investigational use of a product/device not yet approved.
Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD, Advisory Board/Speaker: Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC. Consultant: Eli Lilly and Company, Genentech, Inc., Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc./Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Sanofi Genzyme/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, TopMD, Valeant. Investigator: Sanofi Genzyme/Regeneron.
Linda F. Stein Gold, MD, Consultant: Pfizer. Grant/Research: GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Data Monitoring Committee: Otsuka.
Wynnis L. Tom, MD, Consultant: Pfizer. Grant/Research: Pfizer, Celgene Corporation, Pfizer, and Regeneron.
University of Louisville CME & PD Advisory Board and Staff Disclosures:
The CME & PD Advisory Board and Staff have nothing to disclose.
CME/CE Reviewers: University of Louisville Cindy England Owen, MD, has nothing to disclose. The Postgraduate Institute of Medicine planners and managers Trace Hutchison, PharmD; Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP; Judi Smelker-Mitchek, MBA, MSN, RN; and Jan Schultz, MSN, RN, CHCP, have nothing to disclose.
Global Academy for Medical Education Staff: Eileen McCaffrey, MA; Tristan M. Nelsen, MNM, CMP, HMCC; Sylvia H. Reitman, MBA, DipEd; and Ron Schaumburg have nothing to disclose.
Off-Label/Investigational Use Disclosure
This CME/CE activity discusses the off-label use of certain approved medica- tions as well as data from clinical trials on investigational agents. Any such material is identified within the text of the articles.
This continuing medical education (CME/CE) supplement was developed from a satellite symposium held at the Skin Disease Education Foundation’s 18th Annual Las Vegas Dermatology Seminar, November 3, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Guest Editors acknowledge the editorial assistance of Global Academy for Medical Education and Eileen McCaffrey, MA, medical writer, in the development of this supplement. The manuscript was reviewed and approved by the Guest Editors as well as the Editors of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. The ideas and opinions expressed in this supplement are those of the Guest Editors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the supporter, Global Academy for Medical Education, the University of Louisville, Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, or the Publisher.