brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(11):3252

to the editor: I was surprised that the authors1 of the article on atopic dermatitis recommended consideration of treatment using an oral leukotriene inhibitor (speculative at best!) but failed to include tar compounds (tried-and-true).

I believe the latter compounds are widely underused. This is unfortunate because they are safe and effective, and they also potentiate topical steroids when used in combination therapy, thus allowing a reduction in potent steroid use. Tar compounds are photosensitizing and may stain, but these problems can be minimized when they are applied only at night. These preparations are usually very well tolerated, and some can be added to bath water.

in reply: I agree with Mr. Zimmerman that tar compounds are appropriate intervention for patients with atopic dermatitis. Regrettably, they are very inconvenient to use so I try to avoid them in my practice; nonetheless, they are time tested and proven to be effective. Also, I agree with Mr. Zimmerman that leukotriene inhibitors are speculative at best, and a study needs to be conducted in the double-blind fashion to confirm our suspicions that leukotriene receptor antagonists are beneficial for persons with atopic dermatitis.

Email letter submissions to afplet@aafp.org. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors. Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Letters may be edited to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

Continue Reading


More in AFP

More in Pubmed

Copyright © 2000 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See https://www.aafp.org/about/this-site/permissions.html for copyright questions and/or permission requests.