Association of itch triggers with atopic dermatitis severity and course in adults

Jonathan I Silverberg, Donald Lei, Muhammad Yousaf, Sherief R Janmohamed, Paras P Vakharia, Rishi Chopra, Rajeev Chavda, Sylvie Gabriel, Kevin R Patel, Vivek Singam, Robert Kantor, Derek Y Hsu, David Cella

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20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with heterogeneous triggers of itch, which may affect AD course and severity.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the triggers of itch in adult AD.

METHODS: This was a prospective dermatology practice-based study using questionnaires and evaluation by a dermatologist (n = 587). Thirteen itch triggers were assessed using the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system Itch-Triggers.

RESULTS: Overall, 381 (64.9%) patients reported greater than or equal to 1 itch trigger in the past week and 212 (36.1%) reported greater than or equal to 3 itch triggers. The most commonly reported triggers were stress (35.4%), sweat (30.5%), weather change (24.7%), dry air (24.4%), and heat (24.0%). In multivariable Poisson regression models, the number of itch triggers was associated with more severe patient-reported global AD severity, Numeric Rating Scale worst itch, Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure, Scoring Atopic Dermatitis sleep, Numeric Rating Scale skin pain, Eczema Area and Severity Index, and objective Scoring Atopic Dermatitis. The seasonality of AD was associated with distinct itch triggers. In multivariable logistic regression models, the number of itch triggers was associated with less than or equal to 3 months of AD remission during the year, greater than or equal to 2 AD flares, and AD being worse during some seasons. Four patterns of itch triggers were identified using latent class analysis, each associated with different clinical characteristics.

CONCLUSION: Itch triggers are common and affect the course of AD. Itch triggers are an important end point to assess in patients with AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-559.e2
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latent Class Analysis
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pruritus/diagnosis
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Symptom Assessment


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