24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Moderna Says Its COVID Vaccine Works Well in Children Aged 6 to 11Pediatricians Offer Advice on Keeping Trick-or-Treaters SafeThe No. 1 Cause of Halloween Injuries: Carving the PumpkinPfizer Vaccine Prevents 91% of Symptomatic COVID in Young Children: FDAPfizer Says Lower Dose of Its COVID Vaccine Protects Younger ChildrenWhite House Announces COVID Vaccination Plan for Young KidsMany Parents Worry That Kids Fell Behind in Schooling During PandemicNew Device Might Spot 'Lazy Eye' in Kids EarlierA High-Tech Pointer to Pollutants That Trigger Asthma in KidsU.S. Pediatricians, Psychiatrists Declare 'Emergency' in Child Mental HealthState Spending on Poverty Really Pays Off for Kids: StudyNature Helped Many Kids Cope During Lockdown: StudyTwo-Thirds of Parents of Kids Ages 5-11 Plan to Get Them Vaccinated Against COVID: PollKids Can Carry High, Infectious Levels of COVID CoronavirusBystanders Can Make the Difference for a Drowning ChildAs COVID Cases Drop, Fauci Tells Families to Enjoy HalloweenGolf Cart Injuries Keep Rising Among U.S. KidsStudy Confirms Rise in Child Abuse During COVID PandemicSocial Distancing Kept Kids From Getting Flu, RSVPfizer Seeks FDA Emergency Approval for COVID Vaccine in Younger KidsCould an App Help Kids With Severe Ear Condition Avoid Surgery?Kids With Food Allergies Are Often Targets for BulliesAbuse in Childhood May Shorten Adult Lives: StudyAs Kids Turned to Screens During Pandemic, Their Mental Health SufferedRacial Disparities Persist With Childhood Cancers1 in 4 Parents Say Their Kids Have Been Quarantined Since School StartedA Simple Way to Boost Kids' Reading Skills?Sibling Bullying Carries Long-Term Mental Health CostsActive Learning Best for Students: StudyBlack Parents Most Hesitant About COVID Vaccines for Kids: PollPfizer Sends First Data to FDA on COVID Vaccines for Younger KidsWeight Loss Surgery a Good Option for Severely Obese Kids: StudyTough Choices: Chemo That Can Save Kids With Cancer Can Also Damage HearingOver Half of American Children Have Detectable Lead Levels in Their BloodMask Mandates in Schools Curb Infections, CDC Studies ShowPfizer to Ask FDA Soon for Approval of Its COVID Vaccine for Younger ChildrenKeep Your Kids Safe From COVID While Playing SportsNew Tricks to Turn Your Fussy Eater AroundWeight Loss in Childhood May Protect Boys Against Future InfertilityChildhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological IllsParents of Hospitalized Kids Need More Info on Costs: StudyWhich Kids Are at Highest Risk From COVID?Watch Their Backs -- Don't Overload Those SchoolbagsDoctors Often Miss Signs of Type 1 Diabetes in KidsNeighborhood Gun Violence Means Worse Mental Health for KidsLower Dose of Pfizer COVID Vaccine Works Well in Young Children, Company SaysLong-Haul COVID in Kids Typically Ends Within 3 Months: StudyChild Obesity Rose Sharply During PandemicCOVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Could Come This Fall: FauciChild Cancers Are Rare, But Here Are Signs to Look For
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Eczema Can Take Toll on Child's Mental Health

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 8th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Eczema doesn't just irritate kids' skin. The often disfiguring condition may also be tied to depression, anxiety and sleep difficulties, new research warns.

A study of more than 11,000 British children and teens found that those with severe eczema were twice as likely to become clinically depressed as eczema-free kids.

"Eczema is an itchy red skin disease," said study author Dr. Katrina Abuabara, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

But it's complex.

"The disease course and severity can be quite variable," explained Abuabara. "It often presents in early childhood, but can occur at any age. It tends to be episodic, flaring up, then remitting, but these cycles can be chronic over years.

"For many children, the disease seems to improve by their teen years, but we've found that some continue to have episodic disease into adulthood," she added.

Risk goes up among those with a family history of the disease or related conditions like asthma and allergies. And the condition "is quite common, affecting up to 20% of kids and 10% of adults," Abuabara noted.

Among the children she and her colleagues started tracking in 1991, the annual prevalence of eczema -- also known as atopic dermatitis -- ranged from 14% to 19% between the ages of 3 and 18.

Roughly 22% to 40% developed a moderate or severe form of the disease; the rest of the cases were mild.

In addition to being linked to a doubling of depression risk, severe eczema also doubled the risk for the kind of depressive and/or anxiety-linked behaviors that typically indicate underlying emotional and psychological difficulties. Severe cases also drove up the odds for sleep troubles.

The depressed children were more likely to be female, and from a higher social class, the authors found.

Mild and moderate eczema were not linked to a higher risk for childhood depression, the team stressed. But among children as young as 4, even less serious cases of eczema were associated with a 29% to 84% spike in the risk for internalizing behaviors.

That's concerning, Abuabara and her colleagues noted, because children who struggle with depression and/or brewing emotional turmoil may face a higher risk for depression, anxiety and poor overall health as adults.

"Many parents of children with eczema will tell you it can be a deceptively devastating disease," Abuabara said.

"Eczema has long been known to cause sleep disturbances which impact the whole family," she added, "and certainly can take a toll on emotional well-being. Increasingly, studies are revealing that some types of eczema are more than 'skin deep', and can impact overall health in a variety of ways."

In general, "skin disease is well known to affect patients' quality of life and cause depression," agreed Dr. Robert Kirsner, chairman of the department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Children are often thought to be relatively resilient in that respect, said Kirsner, who was not part of the study team.

But "understandably, severe eczema, even in children, can cause depression and associated internalizing symptoms such as low self-esteem, fear and worrying," he said.

Of note is the finding that even "less severely affected patients apparently are emotionally affected by disease, and may internalize their feelings and manifest symptoms," Kirsner said.

This suggests "more aggressive, expert treatment for even mild eczema might improve the lives of children, and has potential for longer term mental health benefits," he added.

What can parents do?

Abuabara said they should strive to get the best care possible, not only for eczema itself but for the emotional hardship it may trigger.

"If you have a child with eczema that you're concerned about, it is important to talk to their doctor about optimizing their eczema treatment and to ask about behavioral screening and support through their clinic and/or school," Abuabara said.

The findings appear in the Sept. 1 online edition of JAMA Dermatology.

More information

There's more on eczema at the National Eczema Association.

SOURCES: Katrina Abuabara, MD, MSCE, associate professor, dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, and associate adjunct professor of epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health; Robert Kirsner, MD, PhD, chairman and professor, department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and director, University of Miami Hospital and Clinics Wound Center; JAMA Dermatology, Sept. 1, 2021, online