A new study has found a link between maternal depression during postpartum and atopic dermatitis (AD) in children. Researchers fromGeorge Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences andNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine conducted the study.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a skin disease that is inflammatory and chronic. Patients exhibit symptoms like itchiness, pain, and sleep issues. Some studies have also found a link between this skin disease and mental health issues, like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
"We know that emotional factors can exacerbate AD flares and influence the course of the disease, "Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science, told a news portal. Adding,"Previous studies have shown that family environment and other environmental factors can have an impact on AD."
For the study, the team investigated data from a study entitled Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing. The team discovered postpartum depression increased the risk of AD in childhood. Children with AD also had issues with sleep.
"Our results further suggest that postpartum depression is associated with AD even in older children and adolescents, with more persistent disease and greater sleep disturbance," Silverberg told a news portal. "This could potentially suggest more severe AD."
The team now wants to explore this link further to better understand the mechanisms in order to develop better treatment options for the condition. For now, researchers urge paediatricians to screen for postpartum depression to be able to identify infants at risk for atopic dermatitis so early intervention can take place.
The study's findings were originally published in the journal Dermatitis.
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