The Epidermal Barrier in Atopic Dermatitis

Epidermal barrier function is abnormal in individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD). It is
controversial whether primary epidermal barrier abnormalities alone account for the physiological
and clinical abnormalities found in those persons with AD or whether the observed
barrier dysfunction is a consequence of primary immunologic abnormalities. Recent evidence
is strengthening the argument for the former hypothesis. Attention to epidermal
barrier care (ie, gentle skin care) has long been an important part of the therapy of AD.
Advances in our understanding of the biology of the epidermal barrier and how this relates
to the clinical manifestations of this disease has important consequences for new therapeutic
approaches in the management of AD.
Semin Cutan Med Surg 27:108-114 © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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