• Cutaneous staphylococcal infections appear to be relatively infrequent in atopic dermatitis even though patients have broken skin heavily colonized with staphylococcal organisms. We found superficial staphylococcal pustules on the skin of 22 patients with atopic dermatitis. Such lesions were more commonly found with severe exacerbations of atopic dermatitis. They appeared on unbroken skin independent of hair follicles and were associated with considerable pruritis. Such lesions were rapidly removed by excoriation and frequently were overlooked by patients and physicians. Most lesions appeared when polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis was depressed.
Ineffective chemotaxis combined with high-colonization density and inadequate stratum corneum barrier during exacerbations of atopic dermatitis may lead to mild staphylococcal infections. These infections appear to have no systemic effects but possibly the considerable associated pruritis could worsen the atopic dermatitis. Occasional patients may require intermittent or continuous antibiotic therapy.
(Arch Dermatol 113:1383-1386, 1977)
Hanifin JM, Rogge JL. Staphylococcal Infections in Patients With Atopic Dermatitis. Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(10):1383-1386. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640100061009