The pathways leading to an eczematous reaction are likely to be common to all subtypes and to involve similar inflammatory mediators (prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines;). Helper T cells, sometimes activated by superantigens from Staphylo-coccus aureus, predominate in the inflammatoryinfiltrate.
One current view is that epidermal cytokines help
to produce spongiosis; and that their secretion by keratinocytes can be
elicited by T lym-phocytes, irritants, bacterial products and other stimuli
(see Fig. 2.11).