Epidemiology of atopic dermatitis
Scroll down this page to learn more about the prevalence and incidence of atopic dermatitis as well as factors that contribute to its development.
Prevalence and incidence of atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common chronic skin condition and is characterised by acute episodes of eczematous, pruritic lesions over dry skin. It typically starts in early childhood and is widely reported to affect 15–20% of children and 1–3% of adults (Nutten, 2015). However, since the 1970s, the incidence of atopic dermatitis has increased 2- to 3-fold in industrialised nations (Avena-Woods, 2017).
Pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis
A complex range of factors influence the development and onset of atopic dermatitis, but what is the underlying mechanism that drives skin barrier dysfunction and inflammation? Discover how breakdown of the skin barrier can lead to allergen penetration and immune system activation.
In the past, atopic dermatitis was thought to be primarily a consequence of immune dysfunction in susceptible children. However, recent advances point towards a complex pathophysiology with genetic, barrier function, immunity and environmental factors acting together and synergistically to drive barrier dysfunction, inflammation and disease progression (McPherson, 2016).
Burden of atopic dermatitis
As a chronic, relapsing skin condition, atopic dermatitis has a significant impact on patients’ quality of life. However, given the age of most patients, and the fact that it can persist into adulthood, atopic dermatitis also places a heavy burden on patients’ family as well as society (Avena-Woods, 2017).
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