Childhood AD’s Influence on Higher Education

The influence of childhood atopic dermatitis on the trajectory of higher education and career is summarized.

Children and adolescents in Denmark with mild and moderate atopic dermatitis (AD) had a decreased chance of completing basic education and higher academic education, according to research summarized in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The researchers noted that several factors may contribute to reduced likelihood of completing basic compulsory education among patients with AD. According to the researchers, these factors include burdens of direct and indirect costs associated with the disease (medications and absenteeism, respectively) as well as opportunity costs.

The investigators pointed out that previous research has also shown AD flares may lead to missed school days. Increased visits to the school’s nursing office may also reduce the time spent in the classroom for children and adolescents with AD, the researchers explained. In addition, the researchers added that pain and itching associated with AD may act as significant distractions in the classroom.

In the study, children and adolescents in Denmark who had mild and moderate forms of AD had a lower decreased chance of completing their basic compulsory education as well as a reduced chance of completing higher levels of academic training. Also, the researchers reported that severe AD during childhood and adolescence was also associated with a lower chance of completing higher levels of academic education, vocational training, and higher master-level education.

The researchers suggest a closer look is needed “on the professional careers of unaffected siblings and parents within AD families” to further understand the extent of AD and its effects. “In countries with limited access to education, other aspects of well-being have to be considered,” the researchers added.

Disclosure: An author declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Möhrenschlager M, Demolli P, Schmidt V. How does atopic dermatitis in childhood and adolescence affect educational success?. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2021;35(9):1746. doi:10.1111/jdv.17518