The COVID-19 pandemic has significant impact on adults with moderate to severe constitutional eczema


- by Jari Bosma

Researchers from the department of dermatology UMCG studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adult patients with constitutional eczema in the Dutch population. To collect data on eczema, a questionnaire on skin diseases was sent out to 135,950 adult participants of the Lifelines study in 2020. The questionnaire provided insight into the prevalence and severity of eczema. In addition, between March 2020 and July 2021, questionnaires were regularly sent to all adult participants to collect data on the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 53,545 adults completed the eczema questionnaire and at least one questionnaire on COVID-19.

Three groups were made in this study: 1. Participants who never had eczema, 2. participants with mild eczema, and 3. participants with moderate to severe eczema. In all groups, an equal number of participants had a COVID-19 infection. Patients with eczema, regardless of disease severity, were more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and were more likely to choose not to contact a doctor in case of health problems than patients without eczema. Patients with mild eczema were more likely to get vaccinated and to cover their mouths and noses in public. Patients with moderate to severe eczema thought they were more likely to get COVID-19 and to have a more severe course of disease. They were more concerned about getting sick and running out of medication and took other precautions. They also were more likely to expect and be afraid of side effects from vaccines. Side effects of vaccines were also more frequently reported by patients with moderate to severe eczema.

The study concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on adult patients with moderate to severe eczema. It is important for practitioners to be aware  of this.