Novel therapies in the treatment of atopic dermatitis

Connie S Zhong, Sarina B Elmariah
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2018, 37 (3): 190-197
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common cutaneous condition characterized by epidermal barrier disruption, severe skin inflammation, and pruritus. As a result of our growing understanding of disease pathogenesis, the therapeutic armamentarium to manage AD is rapidly expanding. Moving beyond broadly immunosuppressive agents, newer therapies for AD offer more targeted immunomodulation in the forms of phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, Janus kinase inhibitors, and anticytokine monoclonal antibodies. While such therapies are generally considered safer than traditional immunosuppressive agents that have been used off label for AD for decades, they are not without risk entirely. In some cases, potential side effects may be difficult to manage. This review summarizes current views on AD pathogenesis and discusses these novel and emerging therapies, including a discussion of the mechanisms of action, potential side effects, and limitations of current clinical trials for each drug. While the rapid and prolific expansion of therapies to treat AD is encouraging, additional studies are needed to adequately evaluate the long-term safety, efficacy, and generalizability among different age groups and disease subtypes.

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