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J Clin Med. 2015 May 18;4(5):970-8. doi: 10.3390/jcm4050970.

The Importance of Acidification in Atopic Eczema: An Underexplored Avenue for Treatment.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Loma Linda University, 11370 Anderson St. Ste. 2400, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA. dpanther@llu.edu.
2
Department of Dermatology, Loma Linda University, 11370 Anderson St. Ste. 2400, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA. sjacob@contactderm.net.

Abstract

Atopic dermatitis is a form of dermatitis commonly seen in children and adults. Its pathophysiology is complex and is centered on the barrier function of the epidermis. An important aspect of the skin's barrier is pH, which in turn affects a number of parameters such as the skin flora, protease function, and mediators of inflammation and pruritus. Normal pH for non-neonatal skin is acidic and ranges from 4 to 6. Skin pH in atopic dermatitis patients is often increased into the neutral to basic range, and the resulting cascade of changes contributes to the phenotype of atopic dermatitis. Therefore, the maintenance of normal skin pH remains an important topic in understanding and treating atopic dermatitis. This article will review skin pH and its impact on normal barrier function, pathological pH changes in atopic dermatitis, and the therapeutic considerations related to restoring and maintaining pH balance.

KEYWORDS:

acid mantle; atopic dermatitis; barrier; skin pH

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