Atopic Dermatitis: Disease Background and Risk Factors

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1027:11-19. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-64804-0_2.


Multiple risk factors have been associated with the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). Recent advances in understanding the role of genetics in this disease have been made, with discovery of the filaggrin (FLG) gene as the most notable so far. In addition to FLG gene mutations as a risk factor for AD, a positive family history of atopic or allergic disease in either parent, has been shown to confer a greater risk of developing AD. Atopic dermatitis usually presents early in life and is thought to represent the initial-step in the "atopic march" which is characterized by the development of other atopic diseases later in life such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and/or rhinoconjunctivitis, food allergies and hay fever. Other comorbid diseases that have been associated with AD include increase risk of viral and bacterial skin infections, neuropsychiatric diseases such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Patients with AD, have also been found to have worse sleep quality overall compared to patients without AD. In this chapter, we will discuss the risk factors associated with development of atopic dermatitis as well as the most commonly reported comorbidities in patients with this disease.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Comorbidities; Disease background; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / genetics
  • Filaggrin Proteins
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors