Atopic dermatitis: Therapeutic concepts evolving from new pathophysiologic insights

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Recent insights into the relevance of the epidermal barrier function and its interaction with components of the innate and adaptive immune responses in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) give rise to a number of novel potential treatment options. In particular, the identification of loss-of-function mutations in the barrier protein filaggrin and of a diminished expression of certain antimicrobial peptides in AD skin stimulates new concepts to think beyond the TH1/TH2 paradigm. This review will focus on these most recent discoveries and will discuss new and corresponding proof-of-concept trials in patients with AD. It will further speculate on novel ways to restore the homeostasis among the 3 major components in AD skin suspected to be clinically relevant.

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