Is there a role for patch testing in atopic dermatitis? What is the best approach to treatment-resistant cases?
—Ann M. Roberson, DO, Quincy, Ill.

There are two scenarios to consider: First, many patients have been given a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, when they actually have an allergic contact dermatitis. In these patients, allergy patch testing may be of value. In true atopic patients, allergic contact dermatitis can be a concurrent condition. Therefore, a thorough history and physical examination may indicate the need for patch testing. I certainly would consider such testing in patients who have had a dramatic change or increase in their dermatitis or in those who are treatment-resistant, as Dr. Roberson asks.
—Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD (108-18)

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