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First Atopic Dermatitis Diagnosis Experience From a Patient’s Perspective


Jennifer Holman, MD, FAAD, and her patient, Audrey Dean, discuss Audrey’s initial diagnosis experience. Jennifer Holman goes on to describe how different patient populations struggle to access quality care.


Jennifer Holman, MD, FAAD: Your story is really interesting. Looking back in your chart, your arms and legs are what the initial presentation was and it just progressed and marched on from there, which we so often see, especially in adult presentations of atopic dermatitis [AD].

Jennifer Holman, MD, FAAD:The nice thing is [that] you were already in the dermatologist office. You’d seen us for…teenage stuff…[and] those kinds of things, so you were lucky…. But a lot of our patients are in the [emergency department] getting steroid shots over and over and rounds of systemic storage, rounds of antibiotics…those type things. Fortunately, you’re blessed to already be in the dermatologist office and seeing us on the regular, so that was a little easier for you. However, that’s typically not the story. Pediatric access to dermatologic care, especially with some insurance carriers, is not always available to so many [individuals]. I wish it was more available just because we do—even for pediatric patients now—have so many more, better therapies that didn’t exist when I was in residency or training. We’ve moved away from just immunosuppressants, [such as] methotrexate, cyclosporine, [and] Imuran [azathioprine], that I used to have to put patients on to cure their other risks for immunosuppression. We’ve gotten a lot better. So, it’s great that, fortunately, you were already at the specialist’s office. But I encourage anyone who’s listening, especially primary care physicians…if you have [a patient] with severe [AD], it does really impact their quality of life. Get them to a dermatologist. If you’ve got your bat phone, pick it up [and] call the dermatologist. Even if we need to get them started on therapy and they continue to follow-up with their primary care physician, we’ve got therapies available that are safe and appropriate for [AD].

Transcript is AI-generated and edited for clarity.

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