Eczema may affect heart health, new study says

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, affects your skin. But new research shows it may also be tied to your heart health.

Breanna Brown, who lives in Hendry County, said eczema could be frustrating and she feels itchy often. She drives around an hour to Fort Myers to get treatment for her eczema.

Brown, 22 years old, was born with the medical ailment. While eczema is not contagious, it has made some of those 22 years difficult.

“I’ve noticed lately that my skin’s been so bad,” Brown said, “that I’ve been losing a lot of sleep at night.”

New research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology finds “patients with hospital-diagnosed atopic dermatitis have a 20% increased long-term risk of atrial fibrillation, but the absolute risk remains low.” Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow.

Dr. Aurora Badia, a board-certified dermatologist, told WINK News some studies had shown cardiac involvement. However, for most people, eczema is a benign condition.

Now, Dr. Badia is helping lead research of her own to see if new medications can stop the inflammation and itching.

“Some of the products we’re researching are, in fact, are both shots and creams,” she said.

These products are meant to give patients like Brown a break. Even better, the patients do not have any costs involved with the studies because they are new products not on the market yet.

Dr. Badia said risks include possible side effects, like with any new medication. But Brown said it is worth a try mainly if it works better than current treatment options.

“Even though I do have eczema,” Brown said, “I just keep my head up high.”

Get involved

The Florida Skin Center study related care and study medication are provided to test subjects at no cost, regardless of whether they have health insurance. The clinical study center also compensates subjects for study related time and travel. Here’s a link to get involved.

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