Canine Atopic Dermatitis: Skin Barrier Dysfunction and Topical Therapy

Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is a common, yet challenging chronic, inflammatory skin condition and its complex, multifactorial aetiology means a polymodal therapeutic approach can hold the key to successful long-term management. Conventional treatment choices often involve steroids and/or immunomodulatory drugs, which are known to have deleterious side effects or may be contraindicated. In humans, extensive research has implicated the role of skin barrier dysfunction in the pathogenesis of the disease, hence topical therapy is the mainstay of treatment in human atopic dermatitis (AD) with approximately 75-80% of patients attaining safe and effective relief with topical methods alone. Pippa Coupe at Protexin reviews the evidence for skin barrier dysfunction in CAD and summarises the current evidence for the use of topical therapies in the management of the condition.