New resource available for atopic dermatitis patients

Murase_jenny.jpgBy Jenny Murase, MD

It has been a privilege to work with the Academy the past several months in preparation for the launch of its Atopic Dermatitis Patient Education Program. The Academy is thrilled to provide this resource to help members educate their patients about atopic dermatitis.

Through support from the Academy, and with funding from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, we created a video to educate patients about atopic dermatitis. The video highlights the critical role dermatologists play in helping patients manage their atopic dermatitis and includes interviews with world champion softball player Jennie Finch and three of my atopic dermatitis patients.

The 14-minute video is entitled:

The video is also broken up into 2- to 3-minute shorter segments as well, to highlight a variety of topics which include the following:

All of the videos are posted to both the Academy’s website (www.aad.org/ADeducation) and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/AcademyofDermatology), and we encourage all dermatologists to refer their patients to them.

The primary focus of the video is how to care for and cope with atopic dermatitis. The four patients in the video are all athletes and lead active lives in spite of their atopic dermatitis. Their struggles span the spectrum of disease and beautifully demonstrate the different challenges involved in managing mild, moderate, and severe disease. The patients and I clarify the etiology of atopic dermatitis and how it is diagnosed.  We review the variety of diagnostic testing available and the importance of performing this testing to rule out exogenous factors that can worsen atopic dermatitis and contribute to flares, such as patch testing for fragrance and preservative allergy. We also discuss their experiences with therapeutic management strategies ranging from topical medications and emollients to phototherapy and systemic medication. The patients provide their stories and describe the impact that being under the care of a dermatologist has had in improving their quality of life and the state of their skin disease.

I hope you will encourage your patients to use this valuable resource that provides useful information in a patient-friendly format to help patients better understand and manage their atopic dermatitis. As physicians, we have such a close relationship to our patients. They look to us to be the source of the best resources and information as their primary guide in managing their disease, to allow them to feel better and more comfortable living in their own skin.  What better way to educate patients about atopic dermatitis than to direct them to a free resource that is at their fingertips?

Dr. Murase is assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of California, San Francisco. She is a member of the AAD Council on Education and Maintenance of Certification.