Dermatology Online Journal
Defining intrinsic vs. extrinsic atopic dermatitis
- Author(s): Karimkhani, Chante
- Silverberg, Jonathan I
- Dellavalle, Robert P
- et al.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory skin condition characterized by eczematous lesions, i.e. ill-demarcated erythematous patches and plaques. AD is commonly associated with elevated immunoglobulin E (IgE) and atopic disorders, such as asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. Rackemann and Mallory were some of the first to distinguish between asthma based on the presence (“extrinsic”) or absence (“intrinsic”) of allergy. This distinction has subsequently been applied to AD based on the presence (“extrinsic”) or absence (“intrinsic”) of increased IgE and atopic disease. Although the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic AD is widely used, it remains controversial.