Measuring disease severity

Following a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, it is necessary to assess disease severity. Given the presence of objective signs and subjective symptoms in most patients, a composite score is typically used to measure both aspects of the disease and the overall severity. The most commonly used score to achieve this is the Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD), which was developed in 1993 (European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis, 1993; Wollenberg et al., 2018).

The Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) tool for measuring disease severity.

Figure 15: The Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) tool for measuring disease severity (European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis, 1993).

With a maximum possible SCORAD score of 103, patients with a score above 50 are typically considered to have severe atopic dermatitis, while those with a score below 25 are considered to have mild disease. Most cases of allergic dermatitis are mild with less than 10% considered severe. However, severe disease does seem to be more common in adult patients (Wollenberg et al., 2018).