Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex inflammatory disorder with multiple interactions between genetic, immune and external factors. The sum of external factors that an individual is exposed to throughout their lifetime is termed the exposome. The exposome spans multiple domains from population to molecular levels and, in combination with genetic factors, holds the key to understanding the phenotypic diversity seen in AD patients. Exposomal domains are categorized into nonspecific (human and natural factors affecting populations), specific (eg humidity, ultraviolet radiation, diet, pollution, allergens, water hardness) and internal (cutaneous and gut microbiota and host cell interaction) exposures. The skin, as the organ that most directly interacts with and adapts to the external environment, is a prime target for exploration of exposomal influences on disease. Given the well‐recognized physical environmental influences on AD, this condition could be much better understood through insightful exposomal research. In this narrative review, we examine each domain in turn, highlighting current understanding of the mechanisms by which exposomal influences modulate AD pathogenesis at distinct points in time. We highlight current approaches to exposome modification in AD and other allergic disease and propose future directions for exposome characterization and modification using novel research techniques.
Citation: Stefanovic N, Flohr C, Irvine AD. The exposome in atopic dermatitis. Allergy. 2020;75:63–74. h t t p s : //doi.org/10.1111/all.13946