Dermatologists should look for signs of conjunctivitis in their atopic dermatitis patients and learn how to manage the condition because this patients population may have an increased risk of experiencing conjunctivitis, particularly allergic conjunctivitis, according to a recent study published in Journal of Dermatological Treatment.1
Atopic dermatitis and conjunctivitis appear to share a common pathogenesis. Impairment of physical barrier functions is implicated in both disorders, and previous studies have suggested that atopic dermatitis patients may be afflicted by dysfunction of the ocular surface epithelium.2
Patients with conjunctivitis may experience impairment of vision and sleep disturbances, leading to absences and reduced productivity at work or school. As patients with atopic dermatitis already experience a significant impact to their quality of life,3 there is a need for dermatologists to accurately detect and managing conjunctivitis in this patient population.
Researchers used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) from 2002 to 2015 to compare rates of conjunctivitis in patients with atopic dermatitis to rates in people without this skin condition.
They found that patients with atopic dermatitis had a four fold higher risk of conjunctivitis and an eight fold higher risk of allergic conjunctivitis.
1. Wu KK, Borba AJ, Deng PH, Armstrong AW. Association between atopic dermatitis and conjunctivitis in adults: a population-based study in the United States. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;:1-5.
2. Yokoi K, Yokoi N, Kinoshita S. Impairment of ocular surface epithelium barrier function in patients with atopic dermatitis. Br J Ophthalmol. 1998;82(7):797-800.
3. Hilton, Lisette. Adult atopic dermatitis big impact. Dermatology Times website. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/videos-atopic-dermatitis/adult-atopic-d.... Published July 11, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2019.
4. Simpson EL, Flohr C, Eichenfield LF, et al. Efficacy and safety of lebrikizumab (an anti-IL-13 monoclonal antibody) in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis inadequately controlled by topical corticosteroids: A randomized, placebo-controlled phase II trial (TREBLE). J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018;78(5):863-871.e11.
5. Simpson EL, Bieber T, Guttman-yassky E, et al. Two Phase 3 Trials of Dupilumab versus Placebo in Atopic Dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(24):2335-2348.