Patient diagnosis and early treatment of atopic dermatitis
Raj J. Chovatiya, MD, PhD: This question is for both of you. Do you remember, along the way, everything that worked, things that absolutely didn’t work? Do you remember recommendations that took a long time and weren’t very helpful? There must have been a huge impact on trying all these different things throughout your life.
Taylor Caps:I tested these creams. They worked to some degree, but never to the point that the atopic dermatitis went away completely. I would use them for a few weeks and then it would come back. I would constantly apply these creams. I’d be relieved for things like an oatmeal bath, but it wasn’t until I realized I had food allergies that caused a lot of it. My mom can talk a little better about it, but at 19 I found out I was allergic to peanuts. She constantly asked if we could do some food testing to see if there was anything she was allergic to. I started to feel some relief removing the items I was allergic to, especially in my mouth and on my face. I saw some relief, but it was constantly going on. The thing that gave me completely clear skin without any breakouts in the last year was when I was able to take dupilumab [Dupixent].
Raj J. Chovatiya, MD, PhD: You have highlighted some interesting points. I’ll turn it over to Tina first, and then Taylor can comment. You talked a bit about food allergies. We will talk a bit about the overall burden of atopic dermatitis. We know there are many other diseases that people think of in the context of atopic dermatitis and eczema, things like asthma, obviously food allergies, seasonal allergies. Do you remember any of the other medical conditions that Taylor was dealing with that, in hindsight, might have been related to what was going on?
Tina Caps: As a younger child, she always had a clear runny nose. We would discuss this in relation to allergies. At age 7, she constantly complained of stomach aches, so we went to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. At that time, they said they saw nothing wrong. They diagnosed him with an anxious stomach. I kept saying she had a happy childhood. I couldn’t figure out why there was anxiety there. I asked if there might be any food allergies, I often wondered if there might be lactose intolerance – because she ate dairy and then had an upset stomach – but there was a lot of pushback. I could never convince a doctor to agree to test her at a young age because they said children’s allergies often change with food. As she said, when she was 19, an allergist agreed to come and do the tests. There were many things that could have made his life much better.
Transcript edited for clarity