A Comprehensive Management Guide for Atopic Dermatitis

Jennifer D. Peterson, MD; Lawrence S. Chan, MD


Dermatology Nursing. 2006;18(6):531-542. 

In This Article

Course and Prognosis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic and relapsing disease and persists for an average of 4.4 years in children and 18.2 years in adults (The Lewin Group, Inc., 2005). While most forms of childhood disease improve with puberty, up to 40% of cases do not and recurrences in adulthood are common. Factors associated with a more persistent course include early onset, severe disease at an early age, being the oldest or only child, respiratory disease, family history, and very high serum IgE levels (Williams, 2005; Wuthrich, 1999). Atopic dermatitis is associated with other atopic diathesis and many patients suffering from atopic dermatitis will go on to develop other atopic diseases in what as known as the atopic march (Spergel & Paller, 2003). It is estimated that 30% to 60% of patients with AD will develop asthma and 35% to 66% will develop allergic rhinitis (The Lewin Group, Inc., 2005; Williams, 2005; Wuthrich, 1999).


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