Skin Pain Lowers Quality of Life Among Patients With AD


Skin pain is a common symptom among individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD) and is associated with increased disease severity and lower quality of life (QoL), according to a recent poster study presented at the recent 2018 American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting held in San Diego, California.

Researchers conducted a prospective dermatology practice-based study using questionnaires and evaluation by a dermatologist (n = 305) to assess the relationship between AD, skin pain, and quality of life.
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Quality of Life Among Patients With AD
At total of 144 (42.7%) participants reported skin pain in the week prior to completing the questionnaire, with 42 (13.8%) participants reporting severe or very severe pain. Study participants who reported skin pain were more likely to describe their itch using terms similar to those used to describe neuropathic pain. In addition, the prevalence of skin pain was higher among patients with excoriations (72.6%) compared with those without excoriations (57.6%). However, other morphological characteristics were not associated with skin pain.

On assessments, skin pain was associated with Patient Oriented Eczema Measures, followed by ItchyQoL, 5-dimensions of itch scale, Dermatology Life Quality Index, Numeric Rating Scale for itch and sleep, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Eczema Area and Severity Index, and objective Scoring AD Index. Participants who reported severe itch and pain had significantly higher increases an in all assessments compared with those who reported only pain or itch or no symptom as severe.

“We recommend that skin pain severity be assessed along with itch severity in all patients with AD,” the researchers concluded. “Skin pain severity may also be an important endpoint for monitoring clinical response to treatment. Future studies are needed to determine the precise mechanisms and optimal treatment approaches for skin pain in AD.”

—Melissa Weiss


Singam V, Vakharia P, Chopra R, et al. Skin pain is a major driver of poor quality of life in atopic dermatitis. Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting; February 16-20, 2018; San Diego, CA.