Purpose of review: Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease commonly seen in children, but it also occurs in adults. This skin disease is often triggered by bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infections. The mechanisms resulting in this increased propensity for skin infections have been an area of active investigation.
Recent findings: Recent studies suggest that the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis has increased avidity for binding to Staphylococcus aureus and is deficient in its ability to generate antimicrobial peptides needed to eradicate infectious agents.
Summary: The current review will examine recent literature on the etiology and pathogenesis of infection in atopic dermatitis. These observations are likely to have importance implications for management of atopic dermatitis.