Is Atopic Dermatitis Related to Other Health Issues?

Health issues from Atopic Dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis, also known as AD or eczema, is one of the most common skin conditions today. Some people battle their whole lives with it, trying all kinds of skin treatments but to no avail.

Atopic Dermatitis used to be thought of as just another skin disease. But there has been emerging new research that shows how Atopic Dermatitis is in fact related to other bodily conditions. These range from asthma to obesity, food or skin allergies and ADHD. The diseases and conditions which may occur with increased prevalence in patients who have atopic dermatitis are called comorbidities. They show that atopic dermatitis is not just a skin disease but instead is a systemic condition. Thus, patients with Atopic Dermatitis should receive a careful review of their health history to ensure that other conditions are not also present. Since 1960, the prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in childhood has jumped from 2-3 percent to 20 percent, and many children with Atopic Dermatitis continue to have problems with the condition as adults — not everyone “grows out of it”.

Research Results on Comorbidities Found in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis

These are some of the comorbidities known to occur with Atopic Dermatitis:

Cutaneous Infection

Patients with Atopic Dermatitis have been found to have a higher risk of developing bacterial and viral infections. The skin barrier is disrupted in Atopic Dermatitis, and microorganisms that cause disease can more easily gain a foothold. Treating skin infections can also make the overall disease of Atopic Dermatitis better as well.


Asthma and Atopic Dermatitis, along with Allergic Rhinitis (“hay fever”), make up the “atopic triad.” Many patients will have two or even all three of these conditions. Newer medications can treat both the skin disease, its atopy as well as asthma.


As stated above, this is part three of the triad. Up to 38% of children with Atopic Dermatitis have “hay fever” too.


A 2005 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 4,111 U.S. children, ages 2–19 years, found that serum IgE levels and atopy were higher among obese children. Obesity is never a good thing. While it remains unknown if one causes the other or if they are just associated, keeping a healthy weight is always a good idea and MAY make the skin disease better. One thing is for sure: the worse the obesity, the worse the skin disease.

Mental Health

Not surprisingly, if you are scratching and not sleeping, your mental health can be affected. There are lots to talk about here, but the important elements are that patients with Atopic Dermatitis are at increased risk for attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression and anxiety disorders. Treating the skin disease so that better sleep is achieved can probably help since the severity of the skin disease HAS been linked to the likelihood of having a mental health issue.

Combating Atopic Dermatitis and its Associated Diseases

So, in effect, what do all of the above studies tell us? As concerned parents and educators, you want your children to grown up free from eczema and other skin-related illnesses.

It is then worth considering that treating those other comorbidities may help in the process. Easy and natural therapies, such as integrating healthy diet plans, eliminating allergy-causing foods, and focusing on weight loss may help you or your child suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.

At the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute, we have conducted numerous studies to help provide better treatment solutions for our patients. Whether you have Atopic Dermatitis or another skin condition, we can help. Visit our current studies page to find out what research-based treatment is available for your condition. Give us a call today at 760-203-3839