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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;125(1):4-13; quiz 14-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.11.027.

Recent insights into atopic dermatitis and implications for management of infectious complications.

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Division of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1400 Jackson St, Rm J310, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common complex disease that frequently follows a chronic relapsing course and affects the quality of life of patients and families in a significant manner. New insights into the pathophysiology of AD point to an important role of structural abnormalities in the epidermis combined with immune dysregulation. Patients with AD have a unique predisposition to colonization or infection by a number of microbial organisms, most notably Staphylococcus aureus and herpes simplex virus. A multipronged approach directed at healing or protecting the skin barrier and addressing the immune dysregulation is necessary to improve the likelihood of successful outcomes.

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