Tips for Giving Shots to Children with Atopic Dermatitis, with Amy Paller, MD

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This segment of Paller’s RAD 2024 interview covers tips for treating children with biologics as well as unmet needs of eczema patients and upcoming treatments.

At the Revolutionizing Atopic Dermatitis (RAD) 2024 Annual Meeting, Amy Paller, MD, MS, professor and chair of the department of dermatology for Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, spoke with the HCPLive team about administering shots to children and unmet needs of patients with atopic dermatitis.

Paller’s interview provided a broad overview of the takeaways from her RAD 2024 talk titled ‘What can we use in our pediatric patients?’ She was first asked about tips for biologic treatment administration.

“I think the first thing to recognize is that what you don't want to do is lie to a child, saying it's not going to hurt,” Paller said. “Because it will hurt when one gives a shot. I've certainly never gotten a shot that wasn't uncomfortable, so there should be no deception. Also, the way that you give the shot to a child should be on the lap of someone who loves them and can give them a bear hug, keeping them feeling safe.”

Paller added that the minute a clinician puts a child on the exam table and asks them to lie down, they will begin to get anxious. Consequently, Paller cautions against this.

“We can think about pre-treatment with some topical anesthetics,” Paller explained. “Some people say that this actually helps, especially if you put it out and leave it on for quite a while. We'll often have people use this even a few hours before coming into the office. We also need to recognize that how we give the injection makes a difference. It's so important to teach distraction techniques that could be audio or visual or the combination.”

Paller noted that some people even use alternate reality type glasses to try to distract a patient during the procedure. After this discussion, Paller touched upon some of the atopic dermatitis treatments on the horizon that clinicians should keep an eye on.

“I think what we need to be giving a special look to is some of the topicals that are coming out,” Paller said. “I will say, we fortunately have a growing list of what's available, ranging from having more than 20 years of experience now with tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. We know there are no safety issues, despite the continued box warning to crisaborole and, most recently, the topical ruxolitinib that's approved for 12 and above. But we're going to be keeping a careful eye on the new tapinarof and roflumilast data.”

To find out more about this topic, view the full interview segment posted above.

The quotes used in this summary article were edited for clarity.