How to Find a Clinical Trial for Eczema

Adults and children are needed to help bring new treatments to market.

Treating eczema can be very difficult. About half of people living with eczema have found treatments ineffective. New treatments for eczema are always being developed. Participating in eczema clinical trials or atopic dermatitis clinical trials can help bring new treatments to market and may provide relief from your symptoms. 

This article will cover what you need to know about finding an eczema research study and the pros and cons of participating in a clinical trial. 

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What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are tests where a potential new treatment is given to study participants. In many cases, the medication or treatment is compared to a placebo, a treatment with no real benefit. 

Before a new treatment can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it must go through clinical trials to prove that it is safe and effective. These trials are done with volunteers who have given their informed consent to use a drug or treatment that has not yet been approved by the FDA. Since these treatments are untested, the FDA carefully oversees clinical trials to ensure the participants' safety.

Eczema often starts in childhood, so children are needed to participate in eczema clinical trials. It’s ethical and legal for children to participate in clinical trials, as long as their parents or guardians give informed consent. Depending on the age of the child, their consent should also be considered.

Reasons to Participate

There are quite a few reasons why you might choose to participate in a clinical trial or have your child participate. The most important reason, for many people, is that clinical trials can give you access to treatments or medications that are not yet available to the general public. If this is your main consideration, it’s important to remember that you may be assigned to a control group that gets a placebo treatment. Having access to new treatment is not a guarantee. 

Additional reason to participate include:

  • You may help advance understanding of eczema and bring new or better treatments to market. 
  • You may have access to more frequent appointments with your healthcare provider or specialist.
  • You may receive payment or reimbursement for participation.

Looking for a paid eczema study? In most cases, participants are paid or reimbursed for participation in clinical trials. The FDA says that financial motivations shouldn't affect your decision to participate in a paid eczema study, but for many people this is an important factor.

Potential Downsides and Risks

Clinical trials are very important, but they have some downsides, including:

  • The treatment being studied may not work for you. 
  • You may be assigned to the control group and not receive the new treatment. 
  • You may have to stop or adjust current treatment regimens. 
  • You may experience side effects. 
  • Travel to appointments can be inconvenient and costly. 

Criteria for Eczema Clinical Trial Recruitment

To participate in a paid eczema study, you’ll likely need an eczema diagnosis. Other than that, the qualifications for each study will vary. Some studies are designed for specific age brackets, sexes, or people who have not had relief from previous treatments. 

When you’re considering participating in an eczema research study, read the description to see if you’re a good fit. In addition, studies typically include a screening step where the researchers confirm that you are eligible to participate. 

Clinical Trial Finder

One of the best ways to find an eczema research study is to ask your healthcare provider. Clinical trials often occur at large hospitals, and your team may be up-to-day with clinical trials in your area. 

However, you can also look on your own. There's no one source for clinical trials, but these organizations list eczema and atopic dermatitis clinical trials:

Factors That Affect Participation

Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is a major decision. It impacts your overall health, and your schedule. Here’s what you should consider before saying yes:

  • The time commitment. Clinical trials often last for months or years, so saying yes is a big commitment. 
  • Impact on your life. One study found that 49% of people who participate in clinical trials said the trials disrupted their daily routine. 
  • Financial impact. Frequent travels to appointments has financial implications, including travel costs, time off work and childcare obligations. 
  • Desire to make an impact. Clinical trials are just about you as a participant, but also about the impact on the field of eczema treatment. That’s a powerful motivator for many people. 

Ask a Healthcare Provider

If you’re considering participating in a clinical trial, or having your child enroll in one, talk to your dermatologist. They’ll be able to help you weigh the pros and cons in your specific case. That way, you can make the best decision for you and your family. 

Summary

Clinical trials are tests of new drugs or treatments on human volunteers. Participating in a clinical trial for eczema may give you access to treatments that aren’t available to the general public. However, there are risks, including not getting the treatment, not responding, having side effects, and having the trial impact your daily life. Before signing up for a clinical trial, talk with your dermatologist. 

A Word From Verywell

Deciding to participate in a clinical trial is an intensely personal decision. While you have the ultimate say, this isn’t a decision that you need to make alone. Talk with your dermatologist about the impact the trial might have on your care. Discuss the impact on your daily life with your family or support system. That way, you can make an informed choice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are researchers closer to a cure for eczema?

    Researchers don’t yet have a cure for eczema. However, the future is promising, with more than 100 treatments being explored to treat and possibly cure eczema.

  • What are the latest eczema medications?

    This year, the FDA has approved three new eczema medications: Dupixent (Dupilumab); CIBINQO (abrocitinib); and RINVOQ (upadacitinib).

  • Does insurance cover any of the costs associated with eczema clinical trials?

    Insurance is required to cover your care costs, like hospital stays or healthcare provider visits, associated with clinical trials. The research costs, like the drug or lab works, are paid for by the sponsor of the study.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Eczema Foundation. Eczema stats.

  2. National Eczema Association. New prescription treatments.

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Institutional review boards (IRBs) and protection of human subjects in clinical trials.

  4. National Institutes of Health. Kids in research.

  5. National Institute on Aging. Clinical trials: benefits, risks, and safety.

  6. Food and Drug Administration. Payment and reimbursement to research subjects.

  7. Anderson A, Borfitz D, Getz K. Global public attitudes about clinical research and patient experiences with clinical trials. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(6):e182969. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2969

  8. National Eczema Association. New prescriptions treatments.

  9. National Cancer Institute. Paying for clinical trials.

By Kelly Burch
Kelly Burch is has written about health topics for more than a decade. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and more.