Depressive symptoms are closely associated with atopic dermatitis (AD) and vacillate with severity over time, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, and colleagues conducted a prospective, dermatology practice-based study, assessing AD signs and symptoms, as well as Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 responses. Among participants at baseline, 65.32% had minimal depression, 20.00% mild, 8.20% moderate, 3.88% moderately severe, and 2.59% severe. The most persistent depressive symptoms were slow movement, difficulty concentrating, feeling bad, and thoughts of self-harm. Predictors of persistent depression included older age, male sex, non-White race, more severe itch, skin pain, nipple eczema, facial erythema, presence of pityriasis alba, sleep disturbance, and public or no insurance. “Improved control of AD signs and symptoms, particularly itch, may secondarily improve mental health,” the study authors wrote.
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