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Pain and Itch: A Dual Burden in Atopic Dermatitis

Dermatitis; ePub 2018 Aug 31; Maarouf, et al

In an international cohort of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), 78% reported concomitant pain and itch, a recent study found. Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians understand patients’ unique pain burden to best evaluate clinical severity and quality-of-life interference. Responses from an anonymous questionnaire were collected from an eczema clinic (in-person survey) and collaboration with Global Parents for Eczema Research Group and the National Eczema Association (online survey) to assess skin pain among patients with AD aged ≥5 years. Eczema Area and Severity Index was measured in the clinic cohort to correlate with pain symptoms. Researchers found:

  • Of 103 patients with AD, 78% reported concomitant pain and itch.
  • The greatest pain burden occurred on the hands, perioral region, and toes, corresponding to regions with the greatest sensory nerve density.
  • Pain was most commonly described as “burning” and “stinging,” particularly when lesions were red, cracked, and dry.
  • Its presence significantly interfered with sleep, leisure activities, and activities of daily living.

Maarouf M, Kromenacker B, Capozza KL, et al. Pain and itch are dual burden in atopic dermatitis. [Published online ahead of print August 31, 2018]. Dermatitis. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000406.