REVIEW – October 2020

Is atopic dermatitis simply an itchy rash?

Authors: Evelina Gretško

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition which has complex pathogenetic mechanisms and varying clinical manifestations. The disease is the result of genetic predisposition and a combination of multiple environmental risk factors such as living conditions and climate. Although AD is usually more prevalent in paediatric patients, the diagnosis should not be ruled out in adults. Further research is needed to understand the pathogenetic mechanism of the disease, thus making it possible to provide better treatment. We currently have a selection of calcineurin inhibitors and topical corticosteroids. If topical treatment does not have expected outcome or the patient’s disease is severe, systemic therapy should be instituted. Immunosuppressant drugs such as cyclosporine or azathioprine may be used, however, they have failed to achieve long-term remission. A new emerging drug is dupilumab, which has shown a positive effect in comparison with the placebo cohorts.