June 28, 2010

Dermatitis Linked to Cancer Risk

A skin condition known as atopic dermatitis may need to check with their doctors for advice, as new studies suggest they may have increased cancer risk compared to others in the population.

The study looked at over 4 million people in England, and tracked their medical history and health issues overa period of years. And they found that this particular type of eczema, caused by allergies, and the rashes this condition causes are thought to possibly increase cancer risk with the way they affect the immune system.

Medical experts stress though, that this does not necessarily prove that the dermatitis causes cancer: "These are difficult studies to do well and sometimes it's difficult to understand what they mean," Dr. David Margolis, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania Health System who was not involved with the study told Reuters Health. Among patients with atopic dermatitis, the overall cancer risk was still low, he emphasized. "I think people just need to put their results in perspective."

Dermatitis Linked to Cancer Risk

People with the skin condition atopic dermatitis may be at greater risk of getting cancer than those without it, new research hints. But it's unclear whether this increased risk is related to the medication patients take for the condition, or the condition itself, the researchers emphasize. Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema, or skin inflammation, that arises from an allergic reaction. It affects roughly 20 percent of children, according to the National Institutes of Health, but often goes away in adulthood. It causes itchy rashes that get crusty and scaly with scratching. There have been conflicting theories about whether these kinds of frequent rashes that drive the immune system into action would make it more or less likely for someone with atopic dermatitis to develop cancer.

Dermatitis Linked to Cancer Risk

Posted at June 28, 2010 3:10 AM