Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Parent Survey Sheds Light on Suboptimal Compliance With Eczema Medications

Key clinical point: A survey of parents whose children had moderate to severe eczema found that concern over side effects was the most common reason for noncompliance.

Major finding: Almost half of the 86 parents who responded to an online survey said they were not applying the medications for their children with AD as directed by their physicians.

Disclosures: No financial disclosures were noted.


Pediatr Dermatol. 2019 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/pde.13991.


One of the “tricks” that eczema experts use to ensure optimal compliance in new patients is to develop a treatment strategy together. Too often, concerns such as “steroid phobia” result in inadequate treatment. Sometimes, simply showing patients and caregivers the correct amount of topical medication to use, and asking them to bring their used tubes to the next visit, accomplishes this. Optimizing topical treatment will often improve eczema control, and, therefore, the quality of life for all in the household, without having to resort to systemic therapies. This survey should remind us that a significant number of our patients are receiving suboptimal topical treatment, and that we need to address concerns about adverse effects with them.— Joseph Fowler, Jr., MD, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of Louisville, KY