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Authors: Dr Amy Stanway, Department of Dermatology, Waikato Hospital, February 2004; Updated: Dr Aysha Rashid, Medical Registrar, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; Associate Professor Paul Jarrett, Dermatologist, Middlemore Hospital and Department of Medicine, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell. August 2021
Skin infection is very common in atopic dermatitis due to an inherently abnormal skin barrier, cutaneous and systemic immune system abnormalities, and scratching the itch. Cutaneous colonisation by Staphylococcus aureus forms a bacterial biofilm and worsens the dermatitis by promoting the Th2 allergic inflammatory response. Infants are particularly at risk of severe skin infections.
Bacterial infection and atopic dermatitis
Molluscum contagiosum infection and atopic dermatitis
Fungal infection and atopic dermatitis
Contact dermatitis should be considered in the atopic patient with an otherwise unexplained dermatitis flare, particularly if in a patterned distribution.
The frequent use of multiple topical treatments for atopic dermatitis increases the risk of allergic contact dermatitis due to exposure to potential allergens. Aeroallergens also commonly aggravate other manifestations of atopy such as hay fever and asthma.
Contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis
Dyspigmentation due to atopic dermatitis in skin of colour
Other complications of atopic dermatitis
Books about skin diseases
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