The development of effective systemic treatments has revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. The availability of safe new treatments and the understanding of psoriasis as a systemic disease with comorbidities and effects on quality of life have driven the current aggressive treatment paradigm of psoriasis. Historically the morbidity of atopic dermatitis (AD) has been dismissed, given the perception of AD as “just” a rash. Differences in the guidelines for psoriasis and AD management may suggest variations in the current conceptualization of disease severity and effects on quality of life. Published guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology for the management of psoriasis and AD were reviewed. We recorded the similarities and differences in disease assessment and therapy. The threshold to use biologic agents for moderate to severe psoriasis highlights the aggressive nature of modern psoriasis treatment. AD guidelines include an assessment of quality of life but do not designate a disease severity threshold for systemic treatment. AD and psoriasis have a tremendous effect on quality of life. The AD guidelines have a less aggressive approach to disease management than the psoriasis guidelines. We should think critically about rapid advancement to systemic agents in AD management, especially now that more and better agents are being developed.
- atopic dermatitis
- quality of life