June 2021

British Skin Foundation eczema research

A new British Skin Foundation-funded paper has recently been published investigating whether future eczema severity can be predicted by real-time data on environmental factors by a computational approach.

Researcher Dr Reiko Tanaka from Imperial College London explains:

"In this study, we developed a computational model that can predict daily eczema (atopic dermatitis) severity scores for individual patients using a published longitudinal dataset. The inclusion of environmental factors did not improve the predictive performance of the model, not supporting a widely-held belief that weather or air pollutants can make a short-term prediction of eczema sign scores."

Dr Reiko Tanaka

The persistence of eczema scores outweighed the potential short-term influence of environmental exposures. Eczema symptoms change dynamically every day. It is important to consider the dynamic nature of the symptoms when we evaluate the effects of other factors. The extent to which eczema severity can be predicted from the measurement of environmental factors needs more research.

What this research means for people with atopic dermatitis

  • The results in this paper fail to confirm a widely-held belief that weather or air pollutants can make a short-term prediction of eczema severity scores.

  • We need more research to clarify the relationships between eczema severity and environmental factors, even though many “eczema apps” claim that they can predict eczema flares from the information of environmental factors. 

  • A machine learning approach used in this study can be promising, and this approach requires collection of data to “learn” the relationship.  

  • You could contribute to the research actively by recording your symptoms and sharing the data.  

Donate to more research like this    Read the paper here

What is eczema?    Rebecca's eczema story

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