Flexural eczema versus atopic dermatitis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Flexural eczema and atopic dermatitis are frequently synonymized. As respiratory atopy is rarely tested for and found in these patients, systematically equating a flexural distribution of dermatitis with atopic dermatitis may too frequently result in misclassified diagnoses and potentially missed opportunity for intervention toward improving patients' symptoms and quality of life. We present a critical review of the available evidence for the atopic dermatitis diagnosis and discuss the similarities between atopic dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Because neither flexural predilection nor atopy is specific for atopic dermatitis, we conclude that the term atopic dermatitis is a misnomer and propose an etymologic reclassification of atopic dermatitis to "atopy-related" dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis can induce an atopic dermatitis-like phenotype, and thus, flexural dermatitis cannot be assumed as atopic without further testing. Patch testing should at least be considered in cases of chronic or recurrent eczema regardless of the working diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)109-15
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2015

    Research areas

  • Ankle, Dermatitis, Allergic Contact, Dermatitis, Atopic, Eczema, Elbow, Humans, Knee, Neck

ID: 162155326