The clinical significance of fungi in atopic dermatitis.

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin diseases and is caused by multiple factors including genetic factors, skin barrier defects, host immune responses, allergen sensitivity, environmental effects, and infections. Commonly, bacterial and viral infections are present in the eczematous lesions of AD patients and clearly aggravate the symptoms. However, studies of fungal infections in AD are limited in spite of the fact that there are reports showing that Malassezia, Candida, and some dermatophytes can affect the symptoms of AD. Moreover, certain fungal infections are sometimes overlooked and need to be considered particularly in AD patients with treatment failure as clinical features of those fungal infections could mimic eczematous lesions in AD. Here, we review the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and overlooked features of fungal infections associated with the symptoms of AD including the diagnosis and effectiveness of fungal treatments in AD patients.

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