Atopic dermatitis (AD)
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing skin condition characterised by intense itching (pruritus), a defective skin-barrier and a T-cell mediated inflammation.
The involvement of a range of T cell sub-types in the progression of AD is outlined in the adjacent figure. Specifically implicated in disease progression are the Th2, Th22, Th17 and Th1 pathways which drive the skin pathology which is characteristic of both acute and chronic lesions of AD.
The prevalence of AD is estimated at 15-30% in children and 2-10% in adults, with incidence increasing in the developed world. It is a disease that significantly affects the quality of life of patients and their families and there is a strong association between AD and mental health disorders.