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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 138027, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Stress Evaluation in Adult Patients with Atopic Dermatitis Using Salivary Cortisol

1Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama-shi, Toyama 930-0194, Japan
2Graduate School of Engineering, Iwate University, 4-3-5 Ueda, Morioka-shi, Iwate 020-8551, Japan

Received 19 April 2013; Accepted 26 June 2013

Academic Editor: Tokuya Omi

Copyright © 2013 Megumi Mizawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD) are often aggravated by stress, and AD can also lead to psychological stress due to social isolation and discrimination. The salivary cortisol level reflects psychological stress, and it is a good index to assess chronic stress. In this study, we measured the salivary cortisol levels in patients with AD (). AD patients were also evaluated for general disease severity using the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index. The serum levels of TARC, total IgE, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and peripheral blood eosinophil counts were measured by laboratory tests. The Skindex-16 was used as a skin disease-specific, quality of life measure, instrument. The results showed that the saliva cortisol level was significantly higher in AD patients compared to healthy subjects () while the serum TARC and LDH levels were positively correlated with the SCORAD index. However, no statistically significant correlations were observed between the salivary cortisol level and Skindex-16. These results suggest that the saliva cortisol level is therefore a useful biomarker to evaluate the stress in AD patients.