Sweat mechanisms and dysfunctions in atopic dermatitis

J Dermatol Sci. 2018 Feb;89(2):105-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Skin barrier dysfunction is inherent to atopic dermatitis (AD), causing dryness, irritation, and increased permeability to irritants, allergens and pathogens. Eccrine sweat functions as part of the skin's protective barrier. Variations in sweat responses have been observed in patients with AD, and altered sweat composition and dynamics are under-recognized as important factors in the disease cycle. This review discusses the role that sweat plays in the pathogenesis of AD, examines evidence on abnormal sweat composition, secretion, and neuro-immune responses to sweat in atopic skin, and highlights the value of sweat management.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Eccrine sweat; Sweat and itch; Sweat management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / physiopathology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / therapy
  • Emollients / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Permeability
  • Pruritus / immunology
  • Pruritus / physiopathology*
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / physiopathology*
  • Sweat / chemistry
  • Sweat / physiology*
  • Sweating / physiology*


  • Emollients