Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects approximately 2% of adults.1 Adults may account for around 38% for all AD cases in a given community, and they often have more severe and persistent cases than their pediatric counterparts.1 While many clinical trials of AD treatments (ie, topical corticosteroids) have evaluated the short-term efficacy (ie, reduction in erythema and scaling) and adverse effects (ie, stinging), hardly any have examined longer-term issues, such as overall control as measured by the prevention of relapses or the number and duration of disease-free periods.2 This lack of trials is odd considering that AD is a chronic relapsing disease for the majority of patients who have it. It was refreshing, therefore, to read a recent report by Van Der Meer and colleagues, the objective of which was to see whether topical corticosteroids have any benefit in long-term treatment of AD.
Williams HC. Do Topical Steroids Reduce Relapses in Adults With Atopic Dermatitis? Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(12):1530–1531. doi:10.1001/archderm.135.12.1530
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