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Comorbidities between nose and skin allergy

Olze, Heidi; Zuberbier, Torsten

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: October 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 5 - p 457–463
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e32834a9764
Skin allergy: Edited by Torsten Zuberbier and Thomas Werfel

Purpose of review This review focuses on comorbidities between nose and skin allergies. For this purpose, allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) were selected as examples of nasal disorders and atopic dermatitis and urticaria as examples of allergic skin disorders and the individual entities of both localizations were evaluated and compared in relation to their prevalence and coincidence, underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, genetic data and shared therapy options.

Recent findings The inter-relationships between atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis are the best studied, but even for the other comorbidities it was possible to demonstrate comparable pathomechanisms in addition to a high prevalence and coincidence, particularly in the case of atopically assisted forms. In this context, the interactions of IgE, mast cells and eosinophils play a special role, but genetic issues, the significance of epithelial barrier defects and colonization with Staphylococcus aureus are also important sharing issues.

Summary Allergic skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and urticaria are frequently associated with comorbidities of the nose as well as allergic rhinitis and CRS. By contrast, different manifestations of these diseases involve the nose and the skin. These are not separate diseases but are linked by complex and currently unclear/insufficiently defined inter-relationships.

aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology

bDepartment of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany

Correspondence to Heidi Olze, MD, PhD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, GermanyTel: +49 30 450 555002; e-mail:

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