Atopic Dermatitis From the Inside Out

Atopic Dermatitis From the Inside Out


While the redness and rash of atopic dermatitis
are visible on your skin, the real story may be happening beneath the surface. Atopic dermatitis
is more than a skin condition. It’s a disease caused by an overactive immune system that
leads to inflammation in your body. It is this internal inflammation that causes
the symptoms you know. Atopic dermatitis is called the “itch that
rashes” for a reason. While scratching may offer short-term relief,
in the long run you’re actually making your atopic dermatitis—and the itch—worse. This is called the itch-scratch cycle.Your
skin has 3 layers. In healthy skin, the tough outer layercalled
the epidermis keeps foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens from getting
in. When you have atopic dermatitis, the outer
layer of skin is weaker and more susceptible to inflammation caused by immune cells in
the body. The damage done by scratching also contributes
to the breakdown of skin cells, making it easier for foreign substances to get in. Once these foreign substances have broken
through the skin barrier, immune cells alert the body that it’s under attack.These immune
cells travel to the lymph nodes, which are in the second layer of skin, called the dermis. Once inthe lymph nodes, these immune cells
activate your body’s defenders, called T helper cells. The immune cells release substances that cause
the familiar redness and rash on the skin’s surface. Although these substancesnormally
go away after a short time, if you have atopic dermatitis, the cells don’t switch off like
they should. Instead, they continue the inflammatory process, so the skin continues to react, even
when your skin looks clear. Even when you have no visible rash, the underlying
inflammation is still active beneath your skin. The itching leads to scratching, which further
weakens the skin cells in the epidermis, allowing more foreign substances to get in and increases
your risk of infection. And the itch-scratch cycle continues. Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron are committed
to providing resources to advance research in areas of unmet medical needs among patients
with inflammatory and immunological diseases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *