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Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Children


Purpose of Review

Severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in childhood leads to significant morbidity including psychosocial problems and infectious complications. There are only a few approved treatment options for these patients. These include topical corticosteroids and tacrolimus ointment, which are associated with potential side effects.

Recent Findings

In order to find better and safer treatments, further understanding of AD mechanisms is needed. Primary skin barrier defects play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD. In addition, the suppression of skin barrier functions by Th2 inflammation also plays an important role in the persistence and recurrence of AD. Cytokines in the Th2 pathway, which includes IL-4, IL-13, TSLP, IL-25, IL-31, and IL-33, are potential therapeutic targets in AD. Other potential targets of AD are Janus kinase, phospholipase A2, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and skin microbiota.


A better understanding of the pathogenesis of AD will provide future direction for treatment.

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Fig. 1


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Peck Y. Ong.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

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Huang, E., Ong, P.Y. Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Children. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 18, 35 (2018).

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  • Eczema
  • Microbiome
  • Pediatric
  • Pathogenesis
  • S. aureus
  • Therapy