Instituto de Neurociencias, CSIC-UMH, Developmental Neurobiology Unit, Avda. Ramón y Cajal, s/n, 03550 Alicante, Spain
Dermatology Service. Head Cutaneous Immuno-allergy Unit. Hospital Sant Pau. Barcelona, Spain
Itch is a frequent dermatological sensation that can occur in a variety of skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis, inflammatory disorders characterised by eczematous lesions and chronic itch. The pathogenic mechanisms that lead to itch in atopic dermatitis are not fully understood. The current knowledge of its aetiology highlights the complex interplay among multiple pathogenic factors such as epidermal barrier dysfunction, immune dysregulation, and its interaction with the nervous system. Furthermore, a relationship between itch intensity and certain factors such as stress, sleep disturbance, and pollutant exposure has often been shown in patients with itch. This article reviews the current advances in the processes behind itch signalling from the skin to the nervous system, focusing on atopic dermatitis pathophysiology. Studies investigating the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of atopic dermatitis have shown that itch management at the nervous system level may be sufficient to reduce itch sensation and improve skin lesions.
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