Eczema patients at risk for unintentional injury: study

Evanston, IL – Adults who suffer from dry, itchy skin caused by eczema might be more prone to experience bone fractures and other unintentional injuries, according to a study from Northwestern University.

Using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, researchers examined 34,500 participant responses to a questionnaire about their history of fractures, bone and joint injuries, and other injuries causing limitations. Participants who reported a history of eczema within the past 12 months had a 44 percent higher chance of injury; this percentage more than doubled among participants who were 30 to 49 years old and 50 to 69 years old.

Many participants also reported issues with fatigue, sleeplessness or insomnia. Treating the skin disorder with antihistamines that cause drowsiness – a drug class known as “sedating antihistamines” – may be directly related to the heightened risk of injury, researchers said.

Based on the findings, researchers said, doctors need to advise eczema patients to think about safety in the home, and come up with strategies for preventing falls and traumatic injuries.

The findings were published online Oct. 29 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.