The American Academy of Dermatology has issued new guidelines for the diagnosis and assessment of atopic dermatitis.
The evidence-based guidelines were established after the academy extensively reviewed scientific literature on the condition. It marks the first guideline issued by the AAD that includes diagnosis of a skin condition, AAD President Dirk Elston, M.D., said in a news release.
“Misdiagnosis of atopic dermatitis is a concern, especially for adults, and can contribute to making the disease worse,” Dr. Elston said in the statement. “These guidelines provide criteria for accurately diagnosing atopic dermatitis that differentiate it from other conditions with similar characteristics.”
The guidelines issued by the AAD include three key recommendations:
- Monitoring patients’ immunoglobulin E levels is not recommended because they do not correlate with disease severity;
- Clinicians should ask patients general questions about itch, impact on daily activities, sleep and persistence of the disease;
- Dermatologists should coordinate with other specialists when providing care for patients with atopic dermatitis who also have associated conditions such as sleeping problems, asthma, food allergies, ADHD and other psychological conditions.
Three remaining sections of the guidelines will be published in 2014 and will focus on the management and treatment of the condition using systemic agents, topical therapies, adjunctive therapies and prevention of flare-ups. The guidelines were developed based on the work of a group of “recognized atopic dermatitis experts,” according to the AAD.