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Recognizing and Managing Clinical Problems in Atopic Dermatitis

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Atopic dermatitis is a pruritic, inflammatory cutaneous disorder found most frequently among patients with a personal or family history of atopic disease. A primary defect is found in bone marrow cells. The most consistent abnormality relates to the overproduction of IgE. Pharmacophysiologic abnormalities include abnormal vascular responses, abnormal sweating responses, and a reduced threshold for itch. In addition, seven of 12 patients with pure atopic dermatitis with no respiratory disease have an abnormal methacholine inhalation test. There is an abnormal response of leukocyte cyclic AMP to a variety of adenylate cyclase stimulants. Characteristic histological findings are interepidermal edema, called spongiosis, which is consistent with a composite of late-phase and delayed hyper-sensitivity. The brittle stratum corneum can be treated with hydration, a commonly neglected aspect of management. An overlooked complication is herpes simplex infection of the eye. Overall management includes stress control, treating allergenic trigger factors, topical steroids, systemic antibiotics, antihistamines, ultraviolet light, and hospitalization in severe cases.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1989

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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