Find a Dermatology Study in your area

You can find out more about Dermatology studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.

Working with the Life Sciences

The NIHR Clinical Research Network Dermatology has been enormously successful in integrating clinical research into NHS clinical service provision, and both developing and delivering a large practice changing portfolio of clinical trials.

Read our Dermatology Specialty Profile to find out more. 

Our Studies

As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, the NIHR supports research studies through our funding programmes, training and supporting health researchers, and providing world-class research facilities. We also support dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all, and facilitate the involvement of patients and the public to make research more effective.

Last year (2017/2018) the NIHR supported 113 studies on dermatology. The NIHR supported these studies through our funding programmes and our research schools and units. We also support dermatology research through our research infrastructure and our training and career development awards for researchers.

BADBIR - Biologics and Immunomodulators Register

Psoriasis is a common, currently incurable skin disease. In addition to affecting the skin, psoriasis is also associated with an increased risk of depression, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and reduced life span.

Psoriasis affects nearly two million people in the UK - costing the NHS in the region of £1.5 billion per annum. Patients often require lifelong treatment to manage their disease, which may expose them to toxic and potentially fatal side effects. 

Biologics are one type of psoriasis treatment licensed for use in the NHS. Prior to BADBIR, the main clinical evidence around biologics had been established through relatively short randomised controlled trials, powered to detect differences in efficacy rather than side effects related to long term use. Consequently, long term effects and risks of biologics were not well understood. BADBIR set out to address these gaps in evidence by monitoring the long term safety of biologics - while comparing safety and efficacy with conventional oral systemic treatments.

BADBIR’s potential to improve care and treatment for patients through improving clinical knowledge around the safety and effectiveness of psoriasis therapies is significant.  The study is not only providing vital data on the safety of biologic treatments (such as risk of serious infection and cancer), but also helping to identify predictors of response to a biologic therapy aligned with BADBIR’s sample resource of 6,000 patients who provided DNA and/or blood serum samples.

Read more about BADBIR in our impact case study.

BLISTER - Bullous Pemphigoid Steroids and Tetracyclines Study

Bullous pemphigoid, a severe blistering skin condition, is a rare auto-immune disease affecting mainly elderly people. The patient’s immune system mistakenly makes antibodies against the area between the top layer of skin (epidermis) and the next layer (dermis). This causes painful skin erosions, itchy rashes and blisters on the body which can become infected if they burst. Between 20 and 40 percent of patients die within one year of diagnosis.

Oral steroid tablets are commonly used to treat bullous pemphigoid, they work well, but can cause long term harmful side effects including infection, high blood pressure, brittle bones, eye problems and diabetes. Antibiotic tablets are also used and are thought to work almost as well as oral steroids, but their side-effects are less serious.

The aim of the BLISTER study, funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, was to find out whether starting treatment with a commonly-used antibiotic ‘doxycycline’ would be an effective and safer alternative to the current standard treatment of the oral steroid ‘prednisolone’.

Read more about the BLISTER study in our impact case study.

Breastfed babies less likely to have eczema as teenagers

Research supported by the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre has shown that babies whose mothers had received support to breastfeed exclusively for a sustained period from birth had a 54% lower risk of eczema at the age of 16.

The study examined more than 13,000 teenagers enrolled in the PROmotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) as new-born babies between June 1996 and December 1997.

Half of the maternity hospitals and paediatric clinics involved in the PROBIT study provided additional breastfeeding support, while the other half continued their usual practices. While the study found that the breastfeeding promotion intervention provided protection against eczema there was no reduction in the risk of developing asthma between groups.

Read more in our news story.