Atopic dermatitis: A review of diagnosis and treatment

Christine E. Correale, Colleen Walker, Lydia Murphy, Timothy J. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Atopic dermatitis is a common, potentially debilitating condition that can compromise quality of life. Its most frequent symptom is pruritus. Attempts to relieve the itch by scratching simply worsen the rash, creating a vicious circle. Treatment should be directed at limiting itching, repairing the skin and decreasing inflammation when necessary. Lubricants, antihistamines and topical corticosteroids are the mainstays of therapy. When required, oral corticosteroids can be used. If pruritus does not respond to treatment, other diagnoses, such as bacterial overgrowth or vital infections, should be considered. Treatment options are available for refractory atopic dermatitis, but these measures should be reserved for use in unique situations and typically require consultation with a dermatologist or an allergist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1210
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 15 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice


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