Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases among children and adults. This chronic disease can have a dramatic negative impact on the patients' and family's quality of life. For most of the last four decades, there were no new therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of this disease, and palliative care was underutilized. In 2000, a new class of drugs, the topical immune modulators, more recently commonly called calcineurin inhibitors, received Food and Drug Administration indication for the long-term treatment and management of AD. With this, a group of the nation's leading experts in AD came together for the formation of Atopic Dermatitis Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment (ADAPT) for formulating a comprehensive treatment algorithm for moderate to severe AD, utilizing topical therapies and palliative care as the core for treatment.
In 2003, ADAPT held a conference to finalize a consensus of care for the management of AD, incorporating the use of topical immune modulators, other topical therapies, and palliative skin care. ADAPT's guidelines are consistent with the Evidence-Based Guidelines of Care for Atopic Dermatitis recently issued by the American Academy of Dermatology as well as the Academy's Consensus Conference on Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2004. The purpose of this article was to discuss and review the current standard of care and to disseminate an updated standard of care based on research findings and discussions.