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Dermatitis. 2020 Mar/Apr;31(2):157-164. doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000526.

Association of Atopic Dermatitis With Bacterial, Fungal, Viral, and Sexually Transmitted Skin Infections.

Author information

1
From the Graduate School.
2
Departments of Dermatology, Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
3
Northwestern Medicine Multidisciplinary Eczema Center, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with altered skin barrier, microbiome, and immune dysregulation that may increase risk of skin infections.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the study was to determine whether AD is associated with skin infections and related outcomes.

METHODS:

Data from the 2006 to 2012 National Emergency Department Sample were analyzed, including an approximately 20% sample of all US emergency department (ED) visits (N = 198,102,435 adults or children).

RESULTS:

Skin infections were increased in ED visits of adults (7.14% vs 3.76%) and children (5.15% vs 2.48%) with AD. In multivariable logistic regression models, AD was associated with significantly higher odds of skin infection in adults (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 1.93 [1.89-1.97]) and children (2.23 [2.16-2.31]). Pediatric and adult AD were associated with significantly higher odds of carbuncle/furuncles, impetigo, cellulitis, erysipelas, methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus infections, molluscum contagiosum, cutaneous warts, herpes simplex and zoster viruses, eczema herpeticum, dermatophytosis, and candidiasis of skin/nails and vulva/urogenitals. Adults with AD had significantly higher odds of genital warts (1.51 [1.36-1.52]) and herpes (1.23 [1.11-1.35]). Skin infections were associated with US $19 million excess annual costs of ED care in persons with AD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Atopic dermatitis patients had higher odds of multiple bacterial, viral, fungal, and sexually transmitted skin infections.

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