Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jay Metzger


Atopic dermatitis; Phototherapy; Light therapy; Systemic therapy; Therapy; Topical; side effects; Efficacy; Preference; Management


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic remitting problem faced by many people in our communities of all ages. Atopic dermatitis presents as an erythematous and pruritic rash. There is no cure, only treatments that help alleviate symptoms. The purpose of this literature review is to help determine the best course of action for treatment for patients who suffer from AD. Phototherapy has been growing in popularity and research as an alternate treatment to systemic and pharmacologic therapies. This review was done using PubMed, Clinical Key, DynaMed, and Cochrane. Studies were included that reviewed the side effects and efficacy of each treatment option, as well as evaluated patient preference and adherence to treatment. Meta analyses were also used to compare studies done on various treatment modalities’ safety and efficacy that were included. There were no restrictions on date of articles that were included. The review showed that phototherapy is an effective option to treat symptoms of AD but should be reserved as a second line option after a patient has tried and failed topical therapy. Systemic pharmacologic therapies also proved to be effective but are also considered second line treatment options. Although systemic therapies have greater side effect profiles, they are more sustainable when compared to phototherapy.