The gut and its bacterial flora – its ‘microbiome’ – is receiving a lot of attention from scientists and their findings are being closely followed by the lay press. The skin’s microbiome, too, has become a hot topic among dermatologic researchers, as evidenced by the number of papers and reports dealing with the subject at the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology meeting in Edinburgh. Of these reports, several dealt with the microbiome in atopic dermatitis (or eczema). This is of particular importance to clinical dermatology because infections with Staph. aureus is a common trigger of disease flares among atopics. [Read more…] about Highlights of the 2013 IID. Part 5: The microbiome of normal skin and atopic dermatitis
RESEARCH FROM LABS AROUND THE WOLD
An important feature of the inflammation in atopic dermatitis (and in the other ‘atopic’ disorders, such as asthma) is the overproduction of ‘bad’ cytokines, such as interleukin 4 (IL-4), by a subgroup of Th2-type lymphocytes. After secretion from Th2 cells, IL-4 percolates up into the epidermis where it decreases the production of both lipids and proteins that are critical for normal barrier function (see our recent series of articles on atopic dermatitis for more information on the link between the barrier and Th2 cytokines).
One would anticipate, therefore, that if one could block the actions of IL-4, the dermatitis might improve. This is just what Lisa Beck’s group at the University of Rochester reported at the recent IID meeting in Edinburgh. [Read more…] about Highlights of the IID 2013. Part 2: Promising New Drug for Atopic Dermatitis
Every 4 years, the Eurorpean, North American and Japanese dermatologic research societies host a joint meeting. Last week the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology meeting took place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Over the next several days we will summarize some of the highlights of research on the skin barrier that was presented there, alternating posts of research from the Elias group with work coming from other laboratories around the world. [Read more…] about Highlights from the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology (IID) Meeting in Edinburgh: Introduction
Both psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are considered multigenic disorders, meaning an inherited predisposition to develop one of these is carried on more than one gene. In addition to bad genetic luck, usually some environmental (or non-genetic) factor(s) is necessary to trigger the disease. In recent years, studies of populations have determined that variations (‘polymorphisms’) in genes that are involved in the skin barrier as well as genes of the immune system are linked to the development of both of these common skin disorders. Now it appears that these two vulnerable systems – the barrier and the immune systems – interact in the pathogenesis of both disorders, but with notable differences. [Read more…] about Inflammation May Help Fix the Skin Barrier in Psoriasis (But Not in Atopic Dermatitis)
The notion that we can fix what ails us by eating right is a commonly held belief. And it is also one that has considerable merit in some medical conditions. A nutritional treatment for common skin disorders, like atopic dermatitis, would be very welcome to most who suffer from these conditions. [Read more…] about Diet and the Skin Barrier