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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2006 Nov;35(11):794-803.

A study on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Southeast Asian dermatologists in the management of atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1National Skin Centre, 1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205.



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


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


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.


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.

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