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Eczema: Quality of life by body site and the effect of patch testing

, : Eczema: Quality of life by body site and the effect of patch testing. British Journal of Dermatology 146(4): 627-630, April

Background: Patients with dermatitis are known to have impaired quality of life. Whether this varies according to body site has not been evaluated. Patch tests have previously been shown to influence quality of life, although no previous studies have shown if this is dependent on the results of the patch tests. Objectives: To evaluate the impact of patch testing on quality of life according to the outcome of the investigations and to determine how quality of life varies according to eczema body site. Methods: One hundred and sixty consecutive adult patients with active eczema were selected from a patch test clinic for inclusion into the study. Quality of life was determined using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the SF-36, prior to patch testing and 2 months later. Perceived eczema severity at each time point was also noted, along with the outcome of patch testing. Baseline comparison of quality of life was performed between four body site groups (face, hand, generalized, other). Results: Patients confirmed as having relevant positive contact allergens were shown to have a significant improvement in both perceived eczema severity (P=0.0004) and DLQI score (P=0.0015) at 2 months after patch testing. No significant changes were noted in the SF-36 score, other than a borderline improvement in the pain score (P=0.048). The improvement in quality of life and eczema severity was not noted in patients with negative patch tests. Eighty-nine per cent of patients diagnosed as having contact allergy were able to comply with avoidance advice. No significant variation was noted in quality of life according to body site affected by eczema. There was a positive correlation between DLQI score and perceived eczema severity (P<0.0001). Conclusions: Patients confirmed as having contact allergy show a subsequent improvement in eczema severity and an improvement in quality of life.


PMID: 11966694

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04692.x

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