The therapy of atopic dermatitis with highly unsaturated fatty acids has witnessed a renaissance in the last years. Therefore, a study was conducted with borage oil (Glandol), rich in highly unsaturated, so-called omega fatty acids, against palm seed oil as placebo in a total of 12 patients.

Evaluation of the severity of the skin changes was done by means of the ADASI (Atopic Dermatitis Area and Severity Index)-score system described by us recently. The ADASI-scores, forming a time series, were analyzed by trend analysis methods. These methods allow an evaluation of the effectiveness of the therapy in each case.

The analysis revealed that five out of seven patients treated with borage oil showed a favourable effect with regard to the skin changes assessed by the ADASI-score. In contrast, only one out of the five patients treated with placebo showed a significant improvement in skin changes. In view of the positive effect of borage oil in patients with atopic dermatitis, a trial therapy for a certain period seems justified.

Our study demonstrates both the value of our ADASI-scoring system as well as the advantages that time series or trend analysis methods might have for the evaluation of therapeutic effects in chronic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis.