Pediatric atopic dermatitis (AD) is more prevalent in African American children. Dr. Lynn McKinley-Grant, president of the Skin of Color Society, talks with Dr. Amy McMichael about the quality-of-life impact on pediatric patients with AD as well as skin care in this patient population. They also discuss the clinical presentation of AD in the skin of color population. “We have to open our minds up to all of the ways that atopic dermatitis can look in every skin type,” Dr. McMichael says. “Then we don’t miss it, and we don’t minimize how severe it is when we’re taking care of those patients.”
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Things you will learn in this episode:
- African American children with AD (aged 2-17 years) have a 1.5-fold higher chance of being absent for 6 days in a 6-month school period than do non-Hispanic children, and they have higher chronic absenteeism, compared with white children.
- Some parents/guardians purchase topical products with fragrances that are inappropriate for patients with AD. “Consumers have no idea what’s good, so they just buy them and they use them,” Dr. McMichael says. “They can often make things a lot worse.”
- Resident training should focus on learning how skin diseases present in all skin types. “You do have to be cognizant of pigment being present and wonder, ‘OK, is this postinflammatory or is this truly inflammatory?’ ” Dr. McMichael advises.
- For children who want to engage in athletics, treatment should be more aggressive. Consider using systemic treatments more readily or prescribing dupilumab (Dupixent). “We have to be cognizant of when flares occur that perhaps these patients should not participate in activities at that time, but if they want to -- and certainly it’s healthy to do so -- then we need to step up to the plate and treat them appropriately,” emphasizes Dr. McMichael.
- Patients with AD have a higher prevalence of contact sensitization to fragrances, including balsam of Peru. It is essential to find out what products your patients with AD are using on their skin. Ask them such questions as: What are you using to cleanse your face? What are you using as a moisturizer? Do you put anything else on your face or skin?
- Debunk inaccurate information that your patients and parents are consuming about AD medications. “You have to encourage them that it’s not all about steroids. We have other options now and that they need to consider them,” Dr. McMichael adds.
Hosts: Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD (Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC)
Guests: Amy McMichael, MD (department of dermatology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Show notes by: Jason Orszt, Melissa Sears, Elizabeth Mechcatie
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