Atopic dermatitis: skin care and topical therapies

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) pathogenesis is strongly influenced by Type 2 innate lymphoid cell and T-helper cell type 2 lymphocyte-driven inflammation and skin barrier dysfunction. AD therapies attempt to correct this pathology, and guidelines suggest suggest basics of AD therapy, which include repair of the skin barrier through bathing practices and moisturizers, infection control, and further lifestyle modifications to avoid and reduce AD triggers. While some patients’ AD may be controlled using these measures, inflammatory eczema including acute flares and maintenance therapy in more severe patients are treated with topical pharmacologic agents such as topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and, more recently, topical PDE-4 inhibitors. This model of basic skin therapy and, as needed, topical pharmacologic agents may be used to treat the vast majority of patients with AD and remains the staple of AD therapy.

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