Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease, associated with impaired skin barrier function and an atopic background. Various complicating factors, such as irritants, aeroallergens, food, microbial organisms, contact allergens, sweat, and scratching can induce the development of AD symptoms. Irritants, including soap/shampoo and clothes, can cause itching and eczematous lesions. In addition, young children with AD tend to become sensitized to eggs, milk, or peanuts, while older children and adults more often become sensitized to environmental allergens, such as house dust mites (HDM), animal dander, or pollen. Serum-specific IgE levels and skin prick test reactions to food tend to show high negative predictive values and low specificity and positive predictive values for diagnosing food allergy. On the other hand, AD adult patients tend to have severe skin symptoms and exhibit high HDM-specific IgE levels. Microbial organisms, e.g., Staphylococcus aureus
and Malassezia furfur
, might contribute to the pathogenetic mechanisms of AD. While sweat plays a major role in maintaining skin homeostasis, it can become an aggravating factor in patients with AD. Furthermore, scratching often exacerbates eczematous lesions. Several patient-specific complicating factors are seen in most cases. The identification and management of complicating factors are important for controlling AD.
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