Major Comorbidities of Atopic Dermatitis: Beyond Allergic Disorders

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018 Dec;19(6):821-838. doi: 10.1007/s40257-018-0383-4.


The consequences of atopic dermatitis reach beyond the skin and past childhood. Patients with atopic dermatitis are at risk of developing allergic comorbidities, but less is known about the associations between atopic dermatitis and non-allergic conditions. Understanding these non-allergic comorbidities has the potential to improve patient outcomes and to help mitigate the cost and burdens associated with these conditions. Atopic dermatitis is associated with cutaneous bacterial infections, more severe forms/courses of cutaneous viral infections, and extra-cutaneous infections. Atopic dermatitis is also associated with several mental health comorbidities particularly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. Data are largely inconsistent for specific cancers, but atopic dermatitis appears to protect against malignancy overall; severe long-term atopic dermatitis is associated with adult lymphomas. Atopic dermatitis may also be associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease, particularly alopecia areata and gastrointestinal immune-mediated disorders. Although the causative mechanisms underlying these associations are poorly understood, treating physicians should be aware of associations in seeking to alleviate the burden for patients with atopic dermatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases, Viral / epidemiology