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Review Highlights Treatment Goals of Infectious Complications of AD

Findings from a recent review published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology highlighted common causes of and potential treatments for skin and systemic infections associated with atopic dermatitis (AD).

“AD is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is complicated by an increased risk for skin and systemic infections,” the researchers wrote. They investigated the mechanisms, diagnosis, management, and potential therapeutic options for treating infectious complications associated with AD, using literature published on PubMed.

They found that skin barrier defects, type 2 inflammation, Staphylococcus aureus colonization, and cutaneous dysbiosis were major factors that predisposed patients with AD to an increased risk for infections. “Although not common, systemic bacterial infections and eczema herpeticum can be life-threatening,” they said.

While antibiotics are needed to treat overt infections, the researchers noted that the use of antibiotics in AD flares remains controversial.

“The goals of infection prevention in AD consist of skin barrier improvement, anti-inflammatory therapy, and minimizing the use of antibiotics,” they concluded.


Wang V, Boguniewicz J, Boguniewicz M, Ong PY. The infectious complications of atopic dermatitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Published online August 6, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2020.08.002

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