Research Progress Related to Atopic Dermatitis
The NIAMS Dermatology Branch conducts clinical and basic research of the skin and skin diseases, including topics such as:
- The skin as an organ that is part of our immune system.
- The causes, diagnosis, and treatment of skin diseases, particularly inflammatory skin diseases.
- The human microbiome and its influence in healthy people and those with atopic dermatitis.
Additional areas of research on atopic dermatitis, include:
- Genetics. Although atopic dermatitis runs in families, the role of genetics remains unclear. Scientists have also found that the disease is associated with mutations in certain genes that normally help form a protective skin barrier.
- Skin development and maintenance. Discoveries about how the body creates and maintains skin will help us understand why the skin barrier breaks down.
- Understanding itch. Researchers are studying how the nervous system and the immune system communicate to cause the inflammation, itch, and pain seen in atopic dermatitis.
- Immune system imbalance. Researchers continue to study links between atopic dermatitis and autoimmune diseases, including exploring factors that play a role in the immune response causing inflammation like that seen in atopic dermatitis.
- Itching. Many recent studies demonstrate that specific proteins associated with inflammation in the skin stimulate sensory nerves to trigger sensations of itch. These factors are being targeted in new and emerging treatments for atopic dermatitis.
For more info
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
National Eczema Association
Society for Pediatric Dermatology
If you need more information about available resources in your language or other languages, please visit our webpages below or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at NIAMSInfo@mail.nih.gov. You can also find a variety of information from organizations that are NIAMS Coalition Members.