Fast Five Quiz: Severe Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis

William D. James, MD


March 15, 2021

Secondary infection with Staphylococcus aureus is a common complication of atopic dermatitis. The density of S aureus on the patient's skin is directly correlated to disease severity.

Systemic corticosteroids are best avoided in the treatment of severe pediatric atopic dermatitis. They can provide rapid improvement in flares but are associated with significant side effects with prolonged use, and their discontinuation leads to a significant rebound inflammatory response resulting in another, often more severe disease flare. Topical corticosteroids achieve higher concentrations at the site of inflammation within the superficial layers of the skin and are the preferred treatment option.

Treatment targeted to both restoring barrier function and controlling inflammation results in the most effective outcomes for patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

Showers are less effective than baths at providing hydration to the skin and are not a satisfactory alternative in moderate to severe cases of atopic dermatitis.

Learn more about pediatric atopic dermatitis treatment and medication.


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