How to Treat Atopic Dermatitis

atopic dermatitis or pet allergiesHere is our approach to the treatment for atopic dermatitis.

1) Avoidance

Since the trigger for symptoms is airborne, avoidance is practically impossible with the treatment for atopic dermatitis.

2) Symptomatic therapy

The disorder may be treated symptomatically (steroids, antihistamines, immune response modifiers and shampoos), but results are temporary while the condition slowly worsens. In addition, excessive use of steroids may cause serious side effects.

3) Intradermal allergy testing and allergen specific immunotherapy

The gold standard of testing for atopic dermatitis is intradermal allergy testing as the skin is the organ that manifests the allergy.

Certain medications must be avoided in the weeks prior to skin testing.

Atopic dermatitis is best treated with hyposensitization vaccine, also called allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT). Immunotherapy is the art and science of administering increasing concentrations of the specific allergens to which your pet is allergic.

Allergen specific immunotherapy is available as injections under the skin or as drops in the mouth. Aside from the route of administration the only other major difference is the schedule of administration. The vast majority of allergy patients in our practice receive maintenance injection therapy every 2 weeks while the oral drops are given twice daily. Studies have shown the success rate to be very similar. Both are a tool meant to help control your pet’s allergy, rarely offering a complete cure.

Results of Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis

In our experience, 75-80% of treated patients report improvement (decreased allergic symptoms and decreased need for symptomatic treatment) within 1 year.