Atopic dermatitis: addressing allergy, infection, itch and complementary therapies
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex condition that results from the dynamic interplay between genetic predisposition, skin barrier defects, environmental factors, and a dysfunctional immune system. As a result, AD can be complicated by irritant and allergic contact dermatitis and imbalances in the skin microbiome, which can subsequently exacerbate the severity and complicate the course of preexisting atopic disease. Itch is an important symptom of AD, as it plays a large role in the quality of life of patients and their families. Since AD is a chronic, inflammatory disease that recrudesces throughout life, many have utilized alternative and/or complementary therapies, as monotherapy or in conjunction with conventional therapies, as a form of management.