What is the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis (eczema)?

Updated: Mar 13, 2019
  • Author: Brian S Kim, MD, MTR, FAAD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Despite recent advances in the understanding of the genetics of atopic dermatitis (AD), the pathophysiology remains poorly defined. Two main hypotheses have been proposed regarding the development of inflammation that leads to AD. The first suggests a primary immune dysfunction resulting in IgE sensitization, allergic inflammation, and a secondary epithelial barrier disturbance. The second proposes a primary defect in the epithelial barrier leading to secondary immunologic dysregulation and resulting in inflammation.


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