Skill Checkup: A 32-Year-Old Man With a History of Atopic Dermatitis Presents With Worsening Itch

Diamant Thaçi, MD, PhD; Alan Irvine, MD, DSc


July 13, 2023

The Skills Checkup series provides a quick, case-style interactive quiz, highlighting key guideline- and evidence-based information to inform clinical practice.


A 32-year-old White man in Europe, an accountant who regularly works long hours, presents with a 4-year history of atopic dermatitis (AD). Up until now, his AD has been controlled with daily baths, emollients and topical corticosteroids. However, in the past 6 months, he has had worsening of symptoms, especially itch. The patient has done his best to identify and minimise triggers but is continuing to experience worsening AD. It was previously confined to his knees and arms, but now, it also affects his face, neck and hands, making his work more difficult. Also, he has had mild asthma since his teens, which is controlled with inhaled corticosteroids.

Physical examination reveals diffuse eczematous lesions affecting approximately 12% of the patient's body surface area (BSA).


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