Practical Management of Atopic Dermatitis: Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Perspectives - Episode 17

Optimizing Therapy for Patients With Atopic Dermatitis

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Clinical pearls regarding the management of patients with atopic dermatitis with newer treatment approaches as the field continues to evolve.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: Thank you to all 3 of you for participating in this rich discussion. I’d like to give you one last opportunity for any pearl that you might have that you want to share with your colleagues about taking care of patients with atopic dermatitis now, and then what we are going to be doing over the next year or two, as we learn more and continue to add to our therapeutic options. Do you have anything you would like to add?

Keri Holyoak PAC-C, MPH: My advice to my colleagues is for those who aren’t participating locally in journal clubs and meetings, do it because by doing so, you’ll meet incredible providers who share the same passion you do by improving the lives of patients. You’ll find other providers who speak your same language who you get along with and you’ll enjoy collaborating with on care for patients. The second thing is for patients to hang in there. We’re in this together. This is a journey. This isn’t a 1-gene condition. This is complicated, but we’re in it together, and we’re going to find the answers and stick with it until we find the answer that will make our patients become their best selves. I joke that my patients are my Prozac all day long because they give me such a high when they come in and they’re happy. You can see when they’re not happy, but it’s so empowering on my side and it’s a real honor to be in a position to ask them questions that nobody else can ask and to walk side by side with our patients in this journey.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: Susan, do you have any words to your colleagues or to your patients or their families?

Susan Tofte, DNP, MS, FNP-C: It is a partnership, laying out the options treatment wise and weighing the risks and benefits, and all the other extraneous things, costs, and other things that influence the family. It’s also being the empathetic providers that we all are and that the patient knows you’re listening. That’s a huge aspect of any chronic disease, that patients need to feel heard and they need to know that you are listening and that it matters what they’re going through. We know statistically and scientifically all of the things about the diseases, but everybody’s different and not everyone fits into that mold. We need to be able to pull those idiosyncrasies out from the patient, knowing what has failed and helped, and you are there as their provider to get success for their disease and their quality of life and to be able to move forward.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: If you have a patient who is not doing well on what we have available, you might want to go to and look at sites all over the country where children, adolescents, and adults with different types or different levels of atopic dermatitis might be able to participate in a clinical trial to help get the data needed to move forward. 

Susan Tofte, DNP, MS, FNP-C: The National Eczema Association [NEA] may have information about clinical trials across the country, so they may be a good resource for that as well.

Keri Holyoak PAC-C, MPH: I encourage my patients to start their own local chapter of the NEA. Patients need to collaborate with each other and relate so they can help each other by sharing stories and know they’re not the only one. It’s insane to me how I’ll go in and see a patient, and they’ll feel so alone, but there are so many people out there suffering from this. They should never feel alone.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: They’re going to seek answers through social media or through other online sources. They’re going to be seeking answers, and you can either direct them and give them the proper information, or they’re going to find it on their own, so we have to realize that and try to direct them to places that matter. Thank you for watching this HCPLive® Peer Exchange. If you enjoyed the content, please subscribe to our e-newsletters to receive upcoming Peer Exchange segments and other great content right in your inbox. Thanks to all 3 of you, and we’ll see you again soon.

Douglas DiRuggiero, DMSc, PA-C: Thank you.

Keri Holyoak PAC-C, MPH: Thank you.

Susan Tofte, DNP, MS, FNP-C: Bye.

Transcript Edited for Clarity