Does AD Impact Patients’ Libido?



Approximately 3 out of 4 patients (75.5%) reported that the appearance of severe atopic dermatitis (AD) impacted their sexuality, according to a recent poster study presented at the 2018 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.

In the study, 1024 participants with AD completed questionnaires and marked AD affected areas of their body on silhouettes (596 women and 427 men). Researchers used the silhouettes to define 2 areas—area of sensuality (breast and genital) and genital area. Disease burden and severity was determined using the Atopic Dermatitis Burden Scale and a modified version of the Patient-Oriented Scoring Atopic Dermatitis; Quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the Dermatology Life Quality Index and 12-item Short-Form Health Survey.
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A total of 327 participants (31.9%) were classified with severe AD, 414 with moderate AD (40.4%), and 283 with mild AD (27.6%).

Among participants with genital involvement, 59% reported that AD affecting the genital was “the most annoying involvement.” Participants with genital lesions had lower QoL and higher disease burden compared with those without genital involvement. Reduced libido was reported by three-fourths of participants with severe AD and 48.3% reported that they believed their partner’s libido was reduced by the presence of severe AD.

While there were no significant differences in physical scores, participants reported higher disease burden and lower QoL when an area of sensuality was affected by AD compared with those with no visible area of AD.

“These results show a major impact of AD on patients’ sexuality and libido. Our results on a large sample show that involvement of the genital areas is relatively common,” the researchers concluded. “Physicians should take into account this symptom to improve patient care.”

—Melissa Weiss


Seneschal J, Ezzedine K, Reguiai Z, et al. Atopic dermatitis in adults: impact on sexuality. Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting; February 16-20, 2018; San Diego, CA.