2011 Volume 46 Issue 4 Pages 233-237
Itch is an essential symptom of atopic dermatitis (AD) and constitutes one of the major diagnostic criteria of AD. Compared with healthy individuals, the skin of atopic patients is characterized by specific features that result in a lower itch threshold and hypersensitivity to certain non-specific triggers. Thus, itch in AD has a chronic and refractory character and can sometimes be very resistant to treatment. The itch-scratch vicious circle is frequently observed in patients with AD, being an important factor in the maintenance of AD symptoms. Here, we focus on the role of skin as a sensory receptor and overview the regulation of itch shown in AD.