Research: The Connection Between Atopic Dermatitis and Mental Health Issues
Mentor: Charlotte Kleiman
Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is an autoimmune disease that affects healthy body cells. This often leads to Eczema, a skin condition that creates red, bumpy, and inflamed skin. AD has been shown to be associated with other mental health issues. Patients who suffer with AD are more likely to suffer with psychological problems such as depression and/or anxiety due to the side effects of eczema which include shedding of skin, swelling, and itchiness (Schonmann, 2020). The goal of this research is to advance the discussion between AD and mental health problems. With parental consent, young patients and adults were asked to do this survey and assess their mental well-being for the previous two weeks, as well as their skin condition and how their skin condition has affected their social life for the previous week, using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire. Patients who are in support groups on Facebook were contacted and asked to take this survey. To compare, people who do not have any medically diagnosed skin conditions were asked to do the survey. The results showed that people with AD have a higher self-esteem level. Participants who reported having atopic dermatitis had an average self-esteem score of 29.5, while participants without atopic dermatitis had an average self-esteem score of 27.5. People who do not have AD have a higher DLQI score, as seen in this graph. Participants who indicated they did not have atopic dermatitis had an average score of 3.2 on the DLQI, whereas those who said they did had a score of two. There was a negative correlation between DLQI scores and self-esteem scores (r=0.286). This study contributes to the limited data on the correlation between AD and self-esteem.
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