American adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) report issues with sleep, ability to work and feelings of depression and anxiety, a new survey shows. The findings are significant for clinicians, such as New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD, who notes that some of the results of the large suvey were unexpected. For example, Dr. Day says she was struck by "how miserable people are with their eczema and really are looking for better treatments."
The survey, part of the national awareness campaign Understand AD, was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Out of the 505 Americans with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who responded to the survey:
- 53 percent reported that their disease has negatively impacted their daily lives
- 82 percent have made lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding social engagements, being in pictures and participating in sports/exercise
- 55 percent reported that their confidence was negatively impacted due to their disease
- 49 percent say their sleep has been negatively impacted by the disease, moderately or significantly
- 23 percent of people feel depressed and 28 percent feel anxious due to their AD
- 20 percent report that their AD has impacted their ability to maintain employment and 16 percent have made career choices that limit face-to-face interactions with others because of the disease
Given that eczema is often considered a dermatitis of childhood, Dr. Day says physicians may not consider the full impact of the disease on adults. "I don’t think I realized how significant it was for so many to have chronic eczema as an adult…and also how they adapt their life because of it," she says.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents often or sometimes experience flares while on treatment. In fact, people reported using a range of treatments to manage their disease including prescription therapies, over-the-counter medications, alternative medicine like acupuncture as well as vitamins and herbal supplements.