Lisa Swanson, MD: Detailing Therapies for Pediatric Skin Conditions

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Swanson noted the efficacy and safety of dupilumab, which she feels revolutionized patient care.

With the bevy of treatments and therapies for pediatric skin conditions having been made available in recent years, it is understandable that some patients and caretakers have difficulty deciding what works best for their child.

Luckily, doctors such as Lisa Swanson, MD, dermatologist at Ada West Dermatology, Meridian, Idaho, are there to help.

In an interview with HCPLive, she spoke of both available and developing treatments, as well as how she helps families determine potential therapeutic options.

“I often tell patients and their families, ‘I'm the navigator, you're the captain’; it's my job to tell you the options that you have the ways you can go,” Swanson said. “And it's your job to choose what you want for yourself and your family.”

Swanson added that it can be easy for an affected patient to lose hope or get frustrated with their condition, which is why she takes time to detail the pros and cons of all available treatments. If a treatment choice does not work, a surplus of options are available.

She referred to a list of “favorite things” when talking to caregivers about available treatments, among them a sensitive skin care section. Swanson will often highlight the importance of sensitive skincare with those involves before writing down treatment options.

Such options include topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors. Swanson reserves the use of new topical JAK inhibitors to patients 12 years and older, and will recommend dupilumab for other scenarios.

Though clinicians are eagerly awaiting the arrival of other therapies including various oral JAK inhibitors and systemic therapies, Swanson said the implementation of dupilumab in her practice had revolutionized the way pediatric atopic dermatitis is treated.

"So for atopic dermatitis, we had to dupilumab which came out four and a half years ago, really a life changer for patients, their families, their doctor,” Swanson said. “It certainly changed my life, even though I don't take the medication. It has had such a dramatic effect on my own ability to help people, which is why I do what I do. I just want to help people feel better and do better and live better.”

To hear more from Dr. Swanson, watch the video above.