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The Genomic Basis of
Inflammatory Skin Disease

We do not know exactly what causes many inflammatory skin conditions, but scientists believe that genetic make-up combined with environmental and lifestyle factors may be at play. Genuity Science’s Inflammatory Skin Disease research study is exploring five conditions: atopic dermatitis (or eczema), acne vulgaris, hidradenitis suppurativa, plaque psoriasis, and chronic spontaneous urticaria (or chronic hives). The study aims to explore this relationship between these skin conditions, genomics, and environmental/lifestyle factors in order to identify patterns that will help deepen our understanding of the disease.

Genuity Science is working to bridge the knowledge gap

Skin conditions affect approximately one in three people at some point in their lives. Although inflammatory skin diseases can share some common features, such as redness, itchiness, or a rash, they are distinct conditions. Each condition is defined by a complex relationship between genetic and environmental factors. In general, they are poorly understood with a need for in-depth investigation. This genomics study will help to identify differences and similarities between disease mechanisms.

Aims of the Genuity Science Inflammatory Skin Disease study

  • to understand why some people develop inflammatory skin conditions and other do not
  • to determine why some people develop a mild form of a skin disease while others develop a more severe form
  • to identify lifestyle or environmental triggers of inflammatory skin conditions
  • to identify genetic markers that will help with the early diagnosis of skin conditions, identify people at risk of more severe forms, and through our partnerships, identify new or more effective treatments for inflammatory skin conditions.

Genomic Medicine for Precision Health

A genetic biomarker is described as a known DNA sequence that causes disease or is associated with susceptibility to disease. Using genetic biomarkers to predict the severity of a skin condition for a person as well as how that person is likely to respond to treatment would tremendously improve our ability to manage the disease for that patient. Precision health is about prescribing an individual patient with the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time. This would allow for earlier intervention and the increased potential to slow progression.

Inflammatory Skin Disease and Classification

Inflammatory skin disease is an umbrella term that includes many distinct conditions. Within each of these, there is a spectrum of severity ranging from mild to severe. Many skin conditions typically go through periods of flare-up when symptoms are worsened, and periods of relative control of symptoms.

While inflammatory skin conditions manifest in the skin, over time they can have a wider effect on the body. For example, approximately one in three people with psoriasis will also develop pain and structural changes in their joints. Understanding why some people develop more extensive forms of the condition needs further investigation.

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