Future treatment options for atopic dermatitis - small molecules and beyond

J Dermatol Sci. 2014 Feb;73(2):91-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2013.11.009. Epub 2013 Dec 1.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common eczematous skin disease with a chronic and relapsing course. Current therapeutic options for moderate to severe AD in children and adults are unsatisfactory. Along with the success of basic research to define pathogenesis-related targets, novel small molecule inhibitors and biologics for the treatment of AD have been developed. These compounds focus on the specific reduction of pruritus, interfere with the pro-allergic Th2-deviation of the immune system or inhibit inflammatory pathways in the skin. Based on studies registered at ClinicalTrials.gov we present novel treatment strategies of AD, their molecular mechanisms of action, and discuss the current status of the clinical results. As many of the new compounds target pathogenesis-related traits of the disease, we face a new era in the treatment and understanding of AD.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; IgE; Pruritus; Review; Th2; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Allergens / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatology / trends*
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Inflammation
  • Pruritus / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Allergens
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin E