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    Guidelines diverge around atopic dermatitis management

    Peter A. Lio, M.D.Because many patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) may have already seen an allergist, it is helpful for dermatologists to understand there are some salient differences between AD management guidelines issued by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and those from the Joint Task Force of the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (“JTF”). 

    READ: Trending therapies for atopic dermatitis

    Peter A. Lio, M.D., suggests that some of the inconsistencies may be explained by dissimilarity in focus of the two specialties — whereas allergists center more on controlling allergic triggers as an underlying cause for AD, dermatologists are more treatment-oriented and comfortable using systemic medications when needed.

    The difference, however, should not be seen as a dividing point between dermatology and allergy, but rather as an opportunity for partnership to achieve the common goal of delivering optimal patient care, says Dr. Lio, assistant professor of clinical dermatology and pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

    “For the dermatologist, collaboration with an allergist can be especially valuable in situations where allergy is suspected to underlie AD, while allergists often turn to dermatologists to help with patients in need of aggressive therapy for controlling more severe disease,” he says.

    NEXT: Areas of agreement

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