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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Feb;131(2):300-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.06.048. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Atopic dermatitis results in intrinsic barrier and immune abnormalities: implications for contact dermatitis.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.


Atopic dermatitis (AD), as well as irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) and allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), are common skin diseases. These diseases are characterized by skin inflammation mediated by activated innate immunity or acquired immune mechanisms. Although AD, ICD, and ACD can be encountered in pure forms by allergists and dermatologists, patients with AD often present with increased frequency of ICD and ACD. Although a disturbed barrier alone could potentiate immune reactivity in patients with AD through increased antigen penetration, additional immune mechanisms might explain the increased susceptibility of atopic patients to ICD and ACD. This review discusses cellular pathways associated with increased skin inflammation in all 3 conditions and presents mechanisms that might contribute to the increased rate of ICD and ACD in patients with AD.

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