About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 923134, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/923134
Review Article

Barrier-Restoring Therapies in Atopic Dermatitis: Current Approaches and Future Perspectives

1Pediatric Dermatology Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, 49202 Petach Tikva, Israel
2Department of Dermatology, Szold Health Center, Clalit Health Services, 84894 Beer-Sheva, Israel
3Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
4Medical School for International Health, Faculty of Medicine, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel

Received 21 April 2012; Accepted 18 June 2012

Academic Editor: Georgios Stamatas

Copyright © 2012 Y. Valdman-Grinshpoun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Atopic dermatitis is a multifactorial, chronic relapsing, inflammatory disease, characterized by xerosis, eczematous lesions, and pruritus. The latter usually leads to an “itch-scratch” cycle that may compromise the epidermal barrier. Skin barrier abnormalities in atopic dermatitis may result from mutations in the gene encoding for filaggrin, which plays an important role in the formation of cornified cytosol. Barrier abnormalities render the skin more permeable to irritants, allergens, and microorganisms. Treatment of atopic dermatitis must be directed to control the itching, suppress the inflammation, and restore the skin barrier. Emollients, both creams and ointments, improve the barrier function of stratum corneum by providing it with water and lipids. Studies on atopic dermatitis and barrier repair treatment show that adequate lipid replacement therapy reduces the inflammation and restores epidermal function. Efforts directed to develop immunomodulators that interfere with cytokine-induced skin barrier dysfunction, provide a promising strategy for treatment of atopic dermatitis. Moreover, an impressive proliferation of more than 80 clinical studies focusing on topical treatments in atopic dermatitis led to growing expectations for better therapies.