Influence of weather and climate on subjective symptom intensity in atopic eczema
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The frequent clinical observation that the course of atopic eczema, a skin disease involving a disturbed cutaneous barrier function, is influenced by climate and weather motivated us to analyse these relationships biometrically. In the Swiss high-mountain area of Davos the intensity of itching experienced by patients with atopic eczema was evaluated and compared to 15 single meteorological variables recorded daily during an entire 7-year observation period. By means of univariate analyses and multiple regressions, itch intensity was found to be correlated with some meteorological variables. A clear-cut inverse correlation exists with air temperature (coefficient of correlation: –0.235, P<0.001), but the effects of water vapour pressure, air pressure and hours of sunshine are less pronounced. The results show that itching in atopic eczema is significantly dependent on meteorological conditions. The data suggest that, in patients with atopic eczema, a certain range of thermo-hygric atmospheric conditions with a balance of heat and water loss on the skin surface is essential for the skin to feel comfortable.
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