Health

paradigm shifts in moderate and severe cases

Puerto Rico has the treatments for patients.

Dr. José González Chávez, dermatologist and researcher. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

In the midst of the Annual Convention of the Dermatological Society of Puerto Rico, Dr. José González Chávez, dermatologist and pioneer in skin disease research, highlighted for the Journal of Medicine and Public Health that atopic dermatitis affects at least to 300 thousand Puerto Ricans.

The specialist indicated that Island is a geographical area where patients are exposed to many environmental antigens, from vegetation, Saharan dust, industries and cars. “There are 300,000 people who live with different degrees of severity or manifestations“.

Among the aspects to highlight, in the midst of the meeting that brings together all dermatologists, is that atopic dermatitis, according to studies, is a disease that has an impact on quality of life, it is greater when compared to cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases , there are even patients who may have mental health problems and think about suicide.

For this reason, the specialist mentioned that one of the most important aspects related to clinical advances in treatment it is what they are targeting for the disease in its moderate to severe stage.

“The disease in its first stage traditional medicine is used. But when a patient comes in telling you that he is 30 years old with this condition and cannot sleep or work, well for those patients we now have oral and injectable treatments that can be used to improve fit quality of life dramatic.”

Access is available in Puerto Rico, “here there are many help resources, including pharmaceutical companies, so that no patient who needs these expensive treatments can have it.”

Pathophysiology of Atopic Dermatitis

The prominent researcher specified that primary care physicians and pediatricians are the first link with the dermatologist, so they must know the symptoms and manifestations of the disease, in order to act in time.

“The disease manifests itself from multiple factors, and it is not the same to have this disease in childhood and adolescence or in adulthood.” The doctor emphasized that during the first two decades of a person’s life will present the symptoms and manifestations, and at that moment the course that the disease will have can be determined.

“It is that some patients persist with it beyond adolescence, others it is removed, and others can develop it in age adult. This is one chronic disease that needs management for life and, above all, patient education, so that they learn how to manage their disease,” he said.

He added that atopic dermatitis may be associated with other comorbidities such as nasal polyposis, bronchial asthma, food allergies and esophagitis. “The disease is not only genetic, but there are factors that trigger it, since external factors can cause a predisposed patient to react in an accelerated way and produce some manifestations of atopic dermatitis.”

Dr. José González Chávez clarified that the disease can appear at two months of age or after 60 years, “there is no predetermined age, and itching is the clearest symptom that accompanies the disease.”

He added that the manifestations are also seen, depending on the severity, secondary or primary lesions will be seen such as flexural dermatitis, pruritic nodules, exfoliative, that is, a range of manifestations that make the patient not associate it with the disease.

In the diagnosis, as González explained, there are established clinical criteria that range from the extension of the manifestations in the skin, inflammatory changes in the morphological lesions.

Finally, he recalled that stress triggers atopic dermatitis, so it is difficult to predict whether or not a patient will suffer a new outbreak.

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