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Esperienze Dermatologiche 2010 June;12(2):111-9

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Overview of atopic dermatitis

Grieco T., Cantisani C., Rossi M., Cristaudo A., Faina V., Silvestri E., Calvieri S.

Dipartimento di Malattie Cutanee-Veneree e Chirurgia Plastica-Ricostruttiva, Università degli Studi “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italia


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Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease often associated with other atopic disorders such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. The hallmarks of atopic dermatitis are a chronic, relapsing form of skin inflammation, a disturbance of epidermal-barrier function that culminates in dry skin, and IgE-mediated sensitization to food and environmental allergens. The clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis vary with age; three stages can often be identified. Two hypotheses concerning the mechanism of atopic dermatitis have been proposed. One holds that the primary defect resides in an immunologic disturbance that causes IgE-mediated sensitization, with epithelial-barrier dysfunction regarded as a consequence of the local inflammation. The other proposes that an intrinsic defect in the epithelial cells leads to the barrier dysfunction; the immunologic aspects are considered to be an epiphenomenon. This article discusses the prevailaing hypotheses in the light of recent research.

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