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The study is trying to determine how microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, contribute to a very common skin condition called Atopic Dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema. With these studies, we hope to lay the groundwork for development of more effective treatments for the disease.


The purpose of this study is to learn more about how microbes on your child's skin (e.g. bacteria, yeast, viruses) interact with each other and with their human host to contribute to health and disease. We hope that the results of this research will advance the way we prevent, diagnose, and treat AD and similar skin diseases.

Specifically, we are seeking children with moderate to severe AD. We would also like to compare the microbes on the skin of children with moderate/severe AD to that of healthy volunteers' of the same age, who do not have AD. Lastly, we wish to study the microbes on the skin of children and adults who have been diagnosed with primary immune disorders known as HIES (hyperimmunoglobulin-E syndrome), WAS (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) and DOCK8 immunodeficiency, because they frequently have skin problems similar to AD.

For more information, view the flyer for the Study of Skin Microflora in Children with Atopic Dermatitis or the Frequently Asked Questions about the study.

What is Involved?

If eligible, children between the ages of 2 and 12 years with a diagnosis of moderate to severe AD will travel to the NIH Clinical Center.

We will review your child's medical history and perform a skin examination. We will draw some blood, usually only on the first visit. Children will have their skin swabbed and/or scraped; and their noses swabbed. We will also ask your child to return periodically to the NIH for additional skin and nasal sampling.

Eligible children will be compensated in accordance with NIH policy.

Contact Information

To contact us by phone, call 1-888-NIH-DERM (1-888-644-3376)

To contacts us by email, please email the following points of contact:

Sheila Phang (NIH/NCI): sphang@mail.nih.gov
Sharon Osgood (NIH/NCI): osgoods@mail.nih.gov


Julie Segre, Ph.D.
Julie Segre, Ph.D.
  • Chief & Senior Investigator
  • Translational and Functional Genomics Branch

Last updated: April 19, 2012