Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common complex disease that frequently follows a chronic relapsing course and affects the quality of life of patients and families in a significant manner. New insights into the pathophysiology of AD point to an important role of structural abnormalities in the epidermis combined with immune dysregulation. Patients with AD have a unique predisposition to colonization or infection by a number of microbial organisms, most notably Staphylococcus aureus and herpes simplex virus. A multipronged approach directed at healing or protecting the skin barrier and addressing the immune dysregulation is necessary to improve the likelihood of successful outcomes.
Copyright 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.