Atopic dermatitis impacts social, psychological life of sufferers

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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A new survey of 505 American adults (18 years of age and older) who self-reported being diagnosed with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) shows that the disease goes beyond the physical signs and symptoms, negatively impacting people’s lives socially and psychologically. The results, unveiled today during Eczema Awareness Month, show that a majority of respondents are making lifestyle modifications, and that some have made career choices that limit face-to-face interactions with others because of the disease. The survey, part of the national awareness campaignUnderstand AD, was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“We hear first-hand from people living with this disease that many aspects of their everyday life are impacted,” said Julie Block, President and CEO, National Eczema Association. “They are routinely dealing with intense itch and pain, and feeling self-conscious because of the way their skin looks. People share that they feel depressed and anxious because of their disease.”

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Out of the 505 Americans with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who responded to the Understand ADsurvey:

  • 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

The survey also found that 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, and even vitamins and herbal supplements.

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“Despite currently available treatment options, people living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis still struggle to manage their disease,” said Susan Tofte, MS, BSN, FNP-C, a past President of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association. “These survey results reaffirm what our community of nurses sees regularly with the people they are treating for this disease – the total impact goes beyond the physical symptoms. It’s important for all of us to do our part in recognizing this is more than just a skin disease.”-PRNewswire

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