Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in Pediatric Patients: Nursing Implications
Katelin A. Kimler, Danielle McDonald, and Pooja B. Shah
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder affecting infants and children of all ages. There are topical and systemic treatment options with differing mechanisms of actions, strategies for use, and adverse reactions available for patients. A literature review was performed in MEDLINE (January 2014-April 2019) using the key word atopic dermatitis. Nonpharmacological management as a part of daily routine helps prevent dermatitis flares and assists in resolution of acute disease. Topical therapies include medications available over the counter, such as emollients, and agents for acute management, such as topical corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, and phosphodiesterase inhibitors. For more severe or refractory cases, systemic agents, such as immunomodulators, have data for use in pediatric patients. Dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody, has become the first FDA-approved biologic for the treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. It is important for all pediatric nurses to remain up to date on the treatment options available for pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis, especially in light of the new information in recent years. This review will discuss the medications available for treatment and identify important counseling points and adverse effects that can be communicated with and monitored in patients.