Welcome to the first installment of Benchside Dispatches, a series of interviews with top researchers in the field of dermatology intended to highlight important advances in the care of medical skin disorders. In the first installment, Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, discusses atopic dermatitis.
Dr. Eichenfield is Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology at Children’s Hospital, San Diego and at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. He also serves as Director of the Eczema and Inflammatory Skin Disease Center. He is board certified in Pediatrics, Dermatology, and Pediatric Dermatology.
Atopic dermatitis is believed to affect up to 20-30% of school-age children in some national populations. The disease has significant social implications, such as causing lost time from school, and can severely affect quality of life, with pruritus leading to sleep deprivation in both children and their parents. For many clinicians, atopic dermatitis is a difficult-to-treat condition, with limited treatment options that have only a minor impact on the symptoms and which do not address the underlying pathophysiology.
There is optimism that this can change, according to Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, who points to intriguing research looking at whether early life treatment of epidermal barrier disruption may shut down the development of atopic dermatitis.
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