The etiology of atopic dermatitis (AD) is multifactorial with interaction between genetics, immune and environmental factors.
We review the role of prenatal exposures, irritants and pruritogens, pathogens, climate factors, including temperature, humidity, ultraviolet radiation, outdoor and indoor air pollutants, tobacco smoke exposure, water hardness, urban vs. rural living, diet, breastfeeding, probiotics and prebiotics on AD. Expert commentary: The increased global prevalence of AD cannot be attributed to genetics alone, suggesting that evolving environmental exposures may trigger and/or flare disease in predisposed individuals. There is a complex interplay between different environmental factors, including individual use of personal care products and exposure to climate, pollution, food and other exogenous factors. Understanding these complex risk factors is crucial to developing targeted interventions to prevent the disease in millions. Moreover, patients require counseling on optimal regimen for minimization of exposure to irritants and pruritogens and other harmful exposures.