Childhood Eczema Influences Mental Health
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, February 12, 2010
Childhood eczema could lead to emotional problems later in life.A study published in the current issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has uncovered a link between eczema in early childhood and behavior and mental health later in life, ScienceDaily reports.

The researchers, who followed almost six thousand children born between 1995 and 1998, discovered that children who suffered from eczema during the first two years of life were more likely to demonstrate psychological abnormalities, particularly emotional problems, at the age of ten than children of the same age who never suffered from eczema.

Dr. Joachim Heinrich of the Institute of Epidemiology of Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen, one of the lead researchers, explains, "This indicates that eczema can precede and lead to behavioral and psychological problems in children." This was especially true in children whose eczema lasted past the first two years of life.

Children who suffer from eczema are more likely to have an increased predisposition for allergies and allergic asthma. In addition, eczema symptoms are accompanied by a wide range of secondary symptoms, including sleep disorders.

Dr. Heinrich says, "We suspect that it is mainly the secondary symptoms that have a long-term effect on the emotions of the affected children." The authors of the study, therefore, recommend documenting the occurrence of eczema as a potential risk factor for later psychological problems in the children's medical records.

For more information about eczema and how to treat symptoms, see our Eczema FAQ.

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