Die atopische Dermatitis ist eine der häufigsten chronischen Hauterkrankungen. Zentral für die Chronifizierung der Erkrankung sind der quälende Juckreiz und das darauffolgende Kratzen der Haut. Neuere Ergebnisse zur Rolle psychischer Faktoren für Krankheitsentwicklung und –verlauf werden vorgestellt und diskutiert. Verhaltensmedizinische Interventionen basieren auf diesen Annahmen und versuchen, über eine Verminderung des Kratzens den Krankheitsverlauf langfristig positiv zu beeinflussen. Die Ergebnisse verhaltensmedizinischer Interventionen bei erwachsenen Patienten unterstützen die Wirksamkeit einer solchen Herangehensweise. Die Entwicklung und Überprüfung von Ansätzen für Kinder und Jugendliche sind dringend erforderlich.

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