Approximately 70% of patients with lesions had S. aureus colonization.
A new study confirmed that a majority of patients with eczema have lesions colonized with Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Researchers found that as the severity of eczema increases, so does the risk of being colonized by the bacteria. In a study published by the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers analyzed 95 studies with more than 9000 patients.
Researchers discovered that only 39% of patients with eczema had S. aureus on their healthy skin, compared with 70% of patients who had it on their lesions.
The researchers noted that this is a 20-fold increase compared with healthy controls. Approximately 80% of patients with eczema had a strain of S. aureus known to produce a toxin that stimulates the inflammatory response, which causes additional skin barrier defects and could be a trigger for patients.
Currently, eczema is treated with corticosteroids and antibiotics if there is an infection. These treatments are known to cause drug-resistance, damage beneficial skin bacteria, and can cause side effects.
“This review demonstrates the importance of colonisation with S. aureus, as a factor in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis,” said senior author of the study Suzanne Pasmans, MD, PhD. “To decipher the exact role of S. aureus, studies using targeted antistaphylococcal therapy for the skin need to be done.”