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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2004 October;139(5):439-47

Copyright © 2004 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Current proceedings in the field of atopic eczema

Allan J. P., Bieber T., Novak N.

Department of Dermatology Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, Bonn, Germany


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Atopic eczema (AE) together with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis belongs to the group of atopic diseases. AE is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease with pruritus as the leading symptom affecting approximately 10-20% of children worldwide. AE usually occurs first during infancy but it can persist or begin even in adulthood. The disease not only affects the quality of life of patients suffering from AE but also represents a major economic burden for society because of its chronic relapsing and hard to manage course leading to high costs. In the past decades much effort has been made in elucidating the pathophysiology of AE in order to gain a better understanding of the cause and course on one hand and to develop new strategies for therapeutical agents on the other hand. In this manner much progress has been made in the field of immunology and genetics to shed light in the complex network of the pathophysiology of AE with the consequence of the devolpment of new drugs such as topical immunomodulators which not only enhance the quality of life for the patients but also give physicians more options in precisely diagnose and managing AE. In this review we will highlight new aspects in the pathophysiology and treatment of this common skin disorder to give insight in the ongoing proceedings in this field.

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