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72% of AD patients report poor mental health symptoms for one to 10 days in the previous month

Image by Dr. James Heilman via Wikimedia Commons

A survey from the National Eczema Association in the U.S. has revealed that patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) tend to experience poor mental health symptoms. The survey is further evidence of how debilitating the condition can be for patients, according to the authors.

Patients with AD face a higher likelihood of developing depression and anxiety, and additional allergic reactions are likely to exacerbate these mental health symptoms, the authors report. The results of the survey were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, held in Anaheim, Calif.

A total of 954 AD patients completed the survey, developed in consultation with allergists, with 72% reporting experiencing poor mental health symptoms for one to 10 days in the previous month and 17% reporting more than 11 days of poor mental health. One-third (35%) said they had never discussed mental health with their allergist, and 57% said they had never been asked about it. However, 45% of respondents said their allergist had referred them to mental health services or resources.

“People who don’t suffer with AD don’t understand how debilitating it can be,” Allison Loiselle, PhD, lead author on the study for the National Eczema Association, said in a news release.

“In addition to the terrible itching and dry, cracked skin, there are often sleep disruptions, and broader impacts on quality of life and overall well-being. Depression and anxiety are among the symptoms of those who deal with AD, and the chronic, unpredictable nature of this condition.”

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