Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the psychosocial effects of atopic dermatitis. It is important for providers to identify the psychosocial comorbidities associated with atopic dermatitis to provide well rounded patient care.
Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms atopic dermatitis, psychosocial, and comorbidities. Filters were set to articles published after 2015 and limited to clinical and systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and clinical trials. This yielded nine articles. A second search was performed using the terms atopic dermatitis, anxiety, and depression with similar parameters and 41 studies were revealed. Additional searches were performed in Medline and the Cochrane library with the same key terms.
Results: Several quality studies showed that atopic dermatitis is associated with increased risk of anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suicidality, and decreased quality of life. Additional research is needed to determine the relationship between atopic dermatitis and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia. Many studies proposed pruritus and sleep deprivation as primary factors in increasing mental health comorbidities of atopic dermatitis.
Conclusion: Dermatology providers should screen for associated comorbidities of atopic dermatitis and refer for appropriate treatment as necessary. Aggressive treatment of atopic dermatitis can improve overall quality of life and lessen the rate of associated comorbidities.
Mudd K. Beyond the Surface: The Psychosocial Effects of Atopic Dermatitis. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2022; 4(3).
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