Itchy, irritated, or inflamed skin is certainly no fun, but did you know that skin troubles could be related to other health problems? In many cases, skin conditions are linked to processes occurring throughout the body, and this means they can become risk factors that set you up for other types of illness or injury, says Jonathan Silverberg, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University. “The connections are not something patients should ignore or overlook.”
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition known for causing red, itchy patches of skin, but it’s also been linked to sleep disturbances, joint problems, and other injuries. Dr. Silverberg was co-author of a JAMA Dermatology study published earlier this year that found that people with eczema who’d experienced a flare-up in the last year were more likely than those without the condition to have experienced a bone or joint injury, like a fracture, as well.
“There’s a well established association between eczema and sleep disturbances, as a result of its chronic itch, and patients who are sleep deprived are generally at higher rates of traumatic injuries like falls or automobile accidents,” which might explain why they were more likely to experience a bone fracture, Dr. Silverberg says.
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