All about Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD), or atopic eczema, is a non-contagious chronic, inflammatory disease of the skin.
What causes Atopic Dermatitis?
The exact cause of AD is not completely clear; It has a complex set of causes that includes genetic and environmental factors leading to abnormalities in the epidermis and the immune system, so it is also commonly associated with other atopic manifestations, such as food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma.
- Defects in the skin barrier: Regarding the role of the skin barrier in the occurrence of AD, current evidence suggests that it is due to a primary defect of the skin barrier that facilitates the development of other atopic conditions. These skin barrier abnormalities lead to the loss of transepidermal water (water passes from inside the body through the epidermal layer of the skin, to the atmosphere around us) and to a higher penetration of allergens and microbes in the skin.
- Genetic alterations: They include loss-of-function and mutations of a protein called filaggrin. It has also been proven that there is a deficiency in lipid molecules (ceramides), as well as in antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidins), the first line of defense against many infectious agents.
- Infectious agents: The most commonly involved infectious agent in AD is Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
- Defects in the immune response: Defective innate immune responses also seem to contribute to an increase in bacterial and viral infections in patients with AD.
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