Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, itchy inflammatory dermatosis with a potentially significant impact on the quality of life of patients and their families. In addition to skin signs and symptoms, increasing evidence suggests that AD is systemic in nature. Moreover, the higher frequency of cardiovascular, metabolic, neuropsychiatric, and autoimmune disorders that are observed in AD patients deserve to be further investigated. While several diseases may coexist with AD on account of coincident exposure to similar environmental factors, it has also been suggested that AD exerts a synergistic effect with inflammation occurring within other organs and systems, as is the case in other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Alternatively, these comorbidities may directly be related to the AD pathophysiology through shared genetic and immunologic mechanisms. These comorbidities are commonly unrecognized or underestimated, and clinicians must thus be informed about their existence. Treatment and management of AD are thus likely to impact not only skin lesions, but also to prevent the development of various comorbidities. In some patients, a multidisciplinary approach must be encouraged, upon which the overall burden of AD and its comorbidities, both atopic and non-atopic, are properly assessed and managed.
Atopic dermatitis, atopy, comorbidities, burden, epidemiology