Atopic dermatitis: a Q&A with Lenelle Jerome, MS, RN, FNP-BC

Lenelle Jerome, MS, RN, FNP-BC received her BSN from SUNY Health and Science Center where she earned an award for Academic Excellence. She later received her MSN/FNP from the same University where she received the coveted award for Clinical Excellence.

Lenelle has four plus years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner in Dermatology. She is trained to diagnose and treat all dermatological conditions, prescribe medications, and she also performs cosmetic and surgical procedures. She is currently a member of the Dermatology Nurses Association.

Q: What is atopic dermatitis?

A: Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common skin condition characterized by dry, itchy patches of skin. 90% of people will have their first rash before they turn five years old. It is not very common to get it as an adult.

Q: Who is more likely to get atopic dermatitis (or AD)?

A: It is unknown to dermatologists why there are more cases of AD today then there were several years ago. That said, there are certain people who are more likely to have AD. Some have have predispositions to the condition based on:

• Genetics: People who have a family history of AD, asthma or hay fever are more likely to have one or all. • Environment: People who live in colder climates or in areas with high levels of pollution increase the chances. • Maternal age: The older the mother’s age at the time of birth, the greater the odds of developing AD. • Social class: AD is also seen more often in higher social classes.

Q: Do certain foods cause AD?

A: Foods do not cause AD, but they can worsen it. Some of the common foods that can trigger a flare up are milk, nuts and shellfish.

Q: How do you treat AD?

A: There is no cure for eczema. Treatment is targeted to relieve itching, reduce inflammation and decrease the chances of infection. Some common treatments include corticosteroids, antihistamines, antibiotics and barrier repair moisturizers. It is important to keep the skin well moisturized. Skin that is dry is more likely to itch, which can start the itch-rash-itch cycle.

Tip: For those patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, we recommend avoiding soaps and detergents that contain dyes and perfumes as they may be irritating to the skin.

If you are concerned about your skin, we encourage you to make an appointment with us. We believe no concern is too small or insignificant. Call our office at 972-649-6644 and schedule an exam today.