Elaine Siegfried, MD: Presentations and Mimics of Atopic Dermatitis in Infants

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Siegfried spoke on the subjects covered in her presentation at the Revolutionizing Atopic Dermatitis conference, specifically the different conditions that can mirror eczema in infancy.

After her conference presentation, Elaine Siegfried, MD, a Professor of Pediatrics and Dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, discussed the major takeaways from her talk on infant atopic dermatitis (AD) and other conditions which can mimic AD.

Siegfried presented at the Revolutionizing Atopic Dermatitis (RAD) 2023 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, and her talk was titled ‘Clinical presentations and mimics of atopic dermatitis in infancy.’

“It was great fun for me,” she said. “Talking about how to establish a diagnosis comes so easily after all these many years, more easily than reviewing standard clinical trials data.”

In her discussion, Siegfried remarked upon some of the ways in which clinicians differentiate diagnoses.

“I always say that the biggest factor in differentiating the things in the differential diagnosis is how well is the baby growing and developing,” she explained. “Children are wonderful for me to follow because you know if they're doing well or if they're not doing well because it takes so much energy to grow and develop.”

Siegfried then added that in infants who are otherwise healthy, she referred to what she describes as the ‘big 3’ categories: atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

“The good news about all of those is that initial treatment is really the same,” Siegfried stated. “And then there's also overlap among those 3 categories, and then in the less common scenario where kids aren't doing well, the differential is giant in that category. But the big categories are nutritional and immunodeficiency, dermatitis-like conditions.”

“As I mentioned in the talk, children have long been labeled as therapeutic orphans,” she explained. “Because most trials that happen start in adults, since they say you don't want children (as they) are at risk for becoming guinea pigs. My thoughts about that are that if you don't have clinical trials data, then all children are guinea pigs.”

Having said this, Siegfried remarked upon her own views about this particular topic in the dermatologic research world.

“They are therapeutic orphans, but they're also somewhat diagnostic orphans, you know?” she said. “It's an age group that definitely deserves more focus, and that requires some good collaboration between our pediatrician colleagues and our pediatric subspecialists, with dermatologists as well.”

To learn more about the contents of her conference talk, view the interview above.