Atopic Dermatitis: An Overview for the Nurse Practitioner

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PurposeTo provide the primary care provider (PCP) with a review of the clinical presentation, aggravating factors, and basic options for treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD).Data SourcesSelected scientific literature and clinical experiences of the author.ConclusionsAD is a common, chronic skin condition that is frequently seen in both children and adults. Although AD can be challenging to treat, a number of therapeutic options exist to help alleviate the pruritus and rash that accompany the disorder.Implications for PracticeThe PCP can manage AD in most patients by prescribing avoidance measures, good skin care, antihistamines, and conservative topical medications. Patients with more severe disease may require aggressive therapies such as phototherapy, balneo-phototherapy, or systemic agents.

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