NEWS
 
Share This Release:
FB
Tw
@
 
from the AAD
Eczema Can Have Many Effects on Patients' Health
Skin disease increases risk for several other conditions

BOSTON (July 28, 2016) — When a patient is diagnosed with eczema, the diagnosis of another medical condition may not be far behind.

“Although it affects the skin, eczema is not just skin-deep. This disease can have a serious impact on patients’ quality of life and overall health, both physically and mentally,” says board-certified dermatologist Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAD, an assistant professor in dermatology, medical social sciences and preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

image  
Dr. Jonathan Silverberg  
Click here to view or
download photo.
 
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is characterized by dry, red patches of skin accompanied by intense itchiness. Although this disease is most often diagnosed in infancy and early childhood, it may continue or first emerge later in life for some patients. Recent estimates indicate that atopic dermatitis affects one in four children in the United States, as well as up to 7 million adults.

According to Dr. Silverberg, this disease can increase patients’ risk of developing allergic disorders like asthma, hay fever and food allergy, as well as other health conditions like obesity and cardiovascular disease. Although the exact reasons for these connections are unclear, he says, they may be the result of eczema-related inflammation affecting the entire body, or atopic dermatitis symptoms negatively impacting patients’ sleep and health habits.

Eczema patients also have an increased risk for multiple types of infection, Dr. Silverberg says. Because the disease compromises the skin barrier, he says, patients can develop bacterial skin infections like impetigo, which causes red sores on the face, and cellulitis, a potentially serious condition characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and pain or tenderness. Atopic dermatitis also affects the immune system, he says, which puts patients at risk for internal infections, including those of the upper respiratory tract and urinary tract.

Even more common in atopic dermatitis patients are conditions affecting their mental health, including anxiety and depression arising in response to eczema symptoms, Dr. Silverberg says. Moreover, he says, these conditions may be aggravated by sleep disturbance, which is a problem for most people with atopic dermatitis.

Patients’ itching may get worse at night, or they simply may be more aware of it, Dr. Silverberg says, so they often find themselves unable to fall asleep or waking up several times during the night. Further, he says, a lack of sleep can aggravate eczema symptoms, which can further impact sleep, creating an unpleasant cycle for patients.

According to Dr. Silverberg, controlling flares of atopic dermatitis can help to improve some related conditions, like sleep disturbance. In patients with long-lasting eczema, however, other comorbidities, like cardiovascular problems, may develop as a result of the disease’s cumulative effects on the body over the years, says. For this reason, he says, treatment should focus on not only improving symptoms in the short term but also managing the condition in the long term.

“Atopic dermatitis can be extremely frustrating for patients, but there are effective treatments available, as well as several new treatment options in development that look very promising,” Dr. Silverberg says. “If you’re struggling with eczema, a board-certified dermatologist can devise an appropriate treatment plan that can help improve your symptoms and your overall quality of life.”

###

About the AAD
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 18,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

 

DOWNLOAD PDF
BACK TO MAIN PAGE
 
 
 
U008–Comorbidities of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis video library
 
 
 
 
Scar Treatments Can Improve Patients’ Quality of Life

Zika, Other Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Pose Threat to Travelers

Eczema Can Have Many Effects on Patients' Health

Treating Psoriasis May Improve Related Cardiovascular Symptoms
 
 
 
 
Proper wound care: How to minimize a scar


Bug bites and stings: When to see a dermatologist
 
MORE VIDEOS
 
 
 
 
DERMATOLOGIST HEADSHOTS
 
 
 
 
Study Shows Poor Skin Cancer Survival in Patients With Skin of Color
 
 
 
 
Jennifer Allyn
(847) 240-1730
jallyn@aad.org

Nicole DiVito
(847) 240-1746
ndivito@aad.org
Amanda Jacobs
(847) 240-1714
ajacobs@aad.org

 
 
FB
Tw
YT
Pin

VISIT WEBSITE