Purpose of review
Recent published work on atopic dermatitis focusing on the pathogenesis and epidemiology, which have a direct effect on treatment, is presented.
Worldwide, the incidence of atopic dermatitis is still increasing, although a plateau seems to be reached in certain industrialized countries. In addition to the filaggrin missense mutations, other mechanisms responsible for impaired skin-barrier function have been identified. These findings have a direct impact on therapy as well as behavior strategies. The barrier defect and the resulting inflammation in the skin, in particular interleukin (IL)-17-mediated responses, play an important role in promoting allergic airway responses and food allergy.
These recent findings on epithelial barrier defects, as well as cells and cytokines important for atopic dermatitis development, provide new insights into its pathogenesis, help to characterize patient subgroups, and identify new therapeutic strategies.