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October 9, 2019

Stripping Away Barriers to Find Relevant Skin Biomarkers for Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(12):1342-1343. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.2792

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is predominantly a disease of infancy and childhood, yet there are few studies investigating the immune profile of the skin in this population. Thus, relevant AD biomarkers are largely lacking, especially for stratification of the disease’s severity, progression, and response to therapy. This gap is especially relevant as new medications for AD become available for the pediatric group, necessitating decision-making about which children will benefit. Some of the limitations for such data collection are related to the difficulty with obtaining samples in a research setting from infants and children, in whom phlebotomy and skin biopsies can cause health care–induced trauma and anxiety for both guardians and their children.1 Families will often opt out of biopsies in clinical trials or not participate even when minimally invasive procedures are incorporated. Better noninvasive techniques are needed to obtain biomarkers for more robust research.

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