DOI: 10.1111/jdv.19723 ISSN: 0926-9959

Atopic dermatitis: A global health perspective

Ousmane Faye, Carsten Flohr, Kenji Kabashima, Lin Ma, Amy S. Paller, Fahafahantsoa Rabenja Rapelanoro, Martin Steinhoff, John C. Su, Roberto Takaoka, Andreas Wollenberg, Yik Weng Yew, Jose A. Ruiz Postigo, Peter Schmid‐Grendelmeier, Alain Taïeb
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


The International Society of AD (ISAD) organized a roundtable on global aspects of AD at the WCD 2023 in Singapore. According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) consortium, at least 171 million individuals were affected with AD in 2019, corresponding to 2.23% of the world population, with age‐standardized prevalence and incidence rates that were relatively stable from 1990 to 2019. Based on the panel experience, most AD cases are mild‐to‐moderate. Without parallel data on disease prevalence and severity, the GBD data are difficult to interpret in many regions. This gap is particularly important in countries with limited medical infrastructure, but indirect evidence suggests a significant burden of AD in low‐and‐medium resource settings, especially urban areas. The Singapore roundtable was an opportunity to compare experiences in World Bank category 1 (Madagascar and Mali), 3 (Brazil, China) and 4 (Australia, Germany, Qatar, USA, Singapore, Japan) countries. The panel concluded that current AD guidelines are not adapted for low resource settings and a more pragmatic approach, as developed by WHO for skin NTDs, would be advisable for minimal access to moisturizers and topical corticosteroids. The panel also recommended prioritizing prevention studies, regardless of the level of existing resources. For disease long‐term control in World Bank category 3 and most category 4 countries, the main problem is not access to drugs for most mild‐to‐moderate cases, but rather poor compliance due to insufficient time at visits. Collaboration with WHO, patient advocacy groups and industry may promote global change, improve capacity training and fight current inequalities. Finally, optimizing management of AD and its comorbidities needs more action at the primary care level, because reaching specialist care is merely aspirational in most settings. Primary care empowerment with store and forward telemedicine and algorithms based on augmented intelligence is a future goal.

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