Recent insights into atopic dermatitis and implications for management of infectious complications

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;125(1):4-13; quiz 14-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.11.027.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / physiopathology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / virology
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Epidermis / ultrastructure
  • Herpes Simplex* / drug therapy
  • Herpes Simplex* / virology
  • Humans
  • Simplexvirus* / pathogenicity
  • Skin* / microbiology
  • Skin* / pathology
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections* / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections* / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus* / pathogenicity