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July 1995

My Skin Is Only the Top Layer of the Problem

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(7):783-785. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690190035005

As a dermatologist, you see many patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). There are a lot of us. We come to you in the arms of anxious parents who often feel personally responsible for our agony and look to you for absolution of their erroneously perceived guilt. As adults with AD, we frequently do not come to see you until an infection or a nervous employer has absolutely driven us in. Regardless of how your atopic patients arrive, we all expect a cure in short order. Sometimes we heal, but often we do not. At this point, you and your patients like me are often thrown into an uneasy symbiosis where each unfairly blames the other for the chronicity of the disease.