Atopic Dermatitis, Patch Testing, and House Dust Mites: A Brief Review

Alde Carlo P. Gavino; Glen R. Needham; Whitney A. High


Dermatitis. 2008;19(3):121-128. 

In This Article


The link between house dust mite (HDM) allergy and atopic dermatitis (AD) is supported by several laboratory and clinical translational studies that have cumulatively shown that (1) HDM allergens are able to incite specific and enhanced Langerhans' cell and dendritic cell functioning to yield T-cell–mediated immune responses in AD, (2) HDM allergens have the capacity to polarize immunity toward a Th2 response, and (3) at least some subgroup of AD patients with positive HDM patch-test results improve with mite avoidance and elimination strategies. Admittedly, these studies are at best circumstantial. While strongly suggestive, a definite association between HDM allergy and AD still remains to be firmly established, especially because the overwhelming weight of the clinical evidence shows that avoidance of HDMs does not improve clinical disease activity. Further discussion and investigative pursuits in this arena are necessary.

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