Diagnosis and Management of Atopic Dermatitis for Primary Care Providers

Patrick Fleming, MD, MSc, FRCPC; Yue Bo Yang, BSc; Charles Lynde, MD, FRCPC; Braden O'Neill, MD, DPhil, CCFP; Kyle O. Lee, BM, BS, CCFP


J Am Board Fam Med. 2020;33(4):626-635. 

In This Article


The management of AD should involve the liberal use of emollients and an avoidance of common irritants. In mild-to-moderate AD, TCS are the first-line medical therapy, followed by calcineurin inhibitors, which have been shown to be noninferior to TCS in controlling AD, without the risk of steroid atrophy. Topical PDE-4 inhibitors, such as crisaborole, are a new nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory approved for ages 2 years and older. For cases of AD that fail to be controlled with topical therapy, phototherapy should be considered, if available. Newer biologics, such as dupilumab, have been approved for moderate-to-severe AD and seem to have favorable efficacy and side-effect profiles according to randomized trials.