Sajić D, Asiniwasis R, Skotnicki-Grant S.
A look at epidermal barrier function in atopic dermatitis: physiologic lipid replacement and the role of ceramides.
Skin Therapy Lett. 2012 Jul;17(7):6-9.
This review summarizes and discusses the role and efficacy of moisturizers, particularly the more recently introduced ceramide-based formulations, in the skin care regimen of patients with both active and quiescent atopic dermatitis (AD).
It is now well established that a complex interplay of environmental and genetic factors are responsible for disease onset and chronicity. Indeed, several novel genetic mechanisms have been recently discovered to be associated with AD pathogenesis. Moreover, it is increasingly recognized that the epidermal barrier plays a critical role in the initiation, perpetuation, and exacerbation of AD. The skin of patients with AD harbors several defects in epidermal barrier function, including filaggrin and ceramides. An improved understanding of these etiopathogenic factors has led to the development of topical ceramide-dominant moisturizers to replace the deficient molecules and re-establish the integrity of barrier defenses. Some of these products have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of adult and childhood AD that are similar to mid-potency topical steroids. More importantly, they have been shown to be safe with very few associated side-effects. We recommend the addition of such new agents as both the first step of treatment and in the maintenance of clinically quiescent skin of patients with AD.
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