Is Hand Eczema More Common With AD?

eczema on handThe incidence of hand eczema is significantly higher among individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD), according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis.


Although AD and hand eczema commonly co-occur, the exact estimation of their association is currently unknown.

To explore this further, the researchers identified 35 published studies on the association between AD and hand eczema. Of these, 26 were included in the final meta-analysis. Study data were obtained from PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science.

The association between AD and the point prevalence, 1-year prevalence, and lifetime prevalence of hand eczema was examined via meta-analyses. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Results of the study showed that individuals with AD had an increased prevalence of hand eczema in regard to point prevalence (OR 2.35), 1-year prevalence (OR 4.29), and lifetime prevalence (OR 4.06). 

The researchers also observed positive associations between AD and occupational hand eczema through analysis of the 1-year prevalence (OR 4.31) and lifetime prevalence (OR 2.81). General population studies had suggested similar associations.

“In conclusion, our systematic review and meta-analysis showed that patients with AD had a strongly increased prevalence of [hand eczema],” the researchers wrote. “Clinicians should continue to guide patients with AD away from occupations with high risk of [hand eczema].”

—Christina Vogt


Ruff SMD, Engebretsen KA, Zachariae C, et al. The association between atopic dermatitis and hand eczema: a systematic review and meta-analysis [Published online November 24, 2017]. Br J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/bjd.16147.