Management of Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Pediatric Patients

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Apr;9(4):1462-1471. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2021.02.017.


Atopic dermatitis is a common, chronic inflammatory skin disorder, present in about 12% of children worldwide. Optimizing management of severe atopic dermatitis in pediatric patients is critical to reduce signs of inflammation, alleviate pruritus and sleep disturbance, minimize the development and/or impact of comorbidities, and improve the patient and caregiver's quality of life. Evaluating the longitudinal severity of pediatric atopic dermatitis is an important component of measuring therapeutic response and long-term management, and is different in clinical practice versus clinical trials. This article describes when and how to use different treatments for pediatric patients with severe atopic dermatitis, including topical medications, phototherapy, and systemic medical therapies (traditional immunosuppressants, biologics, and small molecule inhibitors). It also provides recommendations useful in clinical practice for nonpharmacologic interventions for pediatric patients with severe atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Biologics; Immunosuppressive agents; Phototherapy; Therapeutics.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / therapy
  • Eczema*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Quality of Life


  • Immunosuppressive Agents