South African Family Practice

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Atopic Dermatitis

D. Engler, F. Makola, N.M. Magongwa


The aetiology of atopic dermatitis is multi-faceted and affects our first line host defence, the skin. Atopic dermatitis has a significant influence on a patient’s social and occupational functioning and can have long-lasting effects. The signs and symptoms of AD includes pruritus, erythema, fissuring, and lichenification – these are reduced by the use of moisturizing agents.  Guidelines on how to manage atopic dermatitis aims to improve symptoms and achieve long-term disease control. Patient education remains as important as other treatment strategies and the pharmacist plays an integral role in educating patients on the management of their condition and adherence to therapy.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis, pruritus, filaggrin, FLG gene, microbiome, Th2 cells

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