American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 749–761 | Cite as

The Microbiome and Atopic Dermatitis: A Review

  • Anna PothmannEmail author
  • Tanja Illing
  • Cornelia Wiegand
  • Albert A. Hartmann
  • Peter Elsner
Leading Article


The microbiome is defined as the sum of microbes, their genomes, and interactions in a given ecological niche. Atopic dermatitis is a multifactorial chronic inflammatory skin disease leading to dryness and itchiness of the skin. It is often associated with comorbidities such as allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma. Today, culture-free techniques have been established to define microbes and their genomes that may be both detrimental and beneficial for their host. There are signs that microbes, both on skin and in the gut, may influence the course of atopic dermatitis. Antiseptic treatment has been used for decades, however now, with the help of traditional culture-based methods and modern metagenomics, we are beginning to understand that targeted treatment of dysbiosis may possibly become part of an integrated therapy plan in the future.


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for the preparation of this manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

A. Pothmann, T. Illing, C. Wiegand, A. Hartmann and P. Elsner declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity Hospital JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Private Dermatology PracticeErfurtGermany

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