• Vol. 35 No. 11, 794–803
  • 15 November 2006

A Study on the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Southeast Asian Dermatologists in the Management of Atopic Dermatitis



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Introduction: This study evaluated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Southeast Asian dermatologists in the management of atopic dermatitis (AD).

Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey of 255 dermatologists in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Results: Familiarity with diagnostic criteria varied considerably. The usage of moisturisers by the respondents from Vietnam and Indonesia was significantly less frequent than the other countries. Most respondents (91% to 100%) used topical corticosteroids in children with mild-to-moderately severe dermatitis. Some respondents in the Philippines (17% to 19%) and Vietnam (11% to 25%) only used topical corticosteroids for severe disease. For infected eczema, most respondents would prescribe systemic antibiotics for mild-to-moderate infection. A minority in the Philippines (14%) and Vietnam (11%) did so only for severe infection. The top 4 systemic antibiotics prescribed most frequently were: erythromycin, cloxacillin, cephalosporin and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. In Indonesia, a large proportion of the respondents (47%) prescribed amoxicillin most frequently. The majority of respondents (60% to 100%) prescribed both sedating and non-sedating oral antihistamines. Most respondents used oral corticosteroids to treat severe AD. Some in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam used cyclosporin (7% to 58%), azathioprine (5% to 31%) and methotrexate (5% to 14%). With the exception of those in Singapore, the majority of respondents (71% to 97%) did not use phototherapy.

Conclusion: Familiarity with diagnostic criteria, the early and judicious use of moisturisers and topical corticosteroids, as well as the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus superinfection with penicillinase-stable antibiotics should be emphasised in this region.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic and pruritic inflammatory skin disorder that occurs worldwide. Several guidelines on the management of AD have been published in the literature.

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