Osteoporosis is the most common disease in humans, especially in women and the elderly. Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass, impaired bone microarchitecture and damage to bone tissue, resulting in decreased bone strength and an increased risk of fracture.1 Osteoporosis is often ignored until weakened bones cause painful fractures, especially in the back or hips.2
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a disorder that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Although it can happen to anyone, it is more common in infants or early childhood to adulthood. However, all ages of people can get eczema. Atopic dermatitis is persistent (chronic) and sometimes recurs but is not contagious. The cause of eczema is not yet known, but researchers suspect that eczema is triggered by the hyperactive immune system and the body's inability to produce enough of a protein called filaggrin (filament aggregating protein). Your skin needs this protein to remain healthy and hydrated.3
Osteoporosis and eczema are both diseases that have different symptoms and causes. Osteoporosis occurs in bone tissue, while eczema occurs in skin tissue. However, according to several studies that have been conducted, there is a correlation between osteoporosis and eczema. Patients with eczema may have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis because eczema can reduce bone mineral density, especially with large using of topical corticosteroids, chronic inflammation, and systemic corticosteroids.4
Research Ching-Ying, et. al (2017) revealed that patients with eczema have an increased risk of osteoporosis and even eczema is thought to be an early predictor of osteoporosis.5 Other studies have also stated that atopic eczema can increase the risk of fractures in the spine, hips, and pelvis, especially severe cases of atopic eczema in comparison to those without.6 Therefore, the relationship between these two diseases can be used as a reference for doctors in the early detection of osteoporosis, especially in eczema patients.5
Tips for Eczema Sufferers7,8
Various ways and activities can be done to anticipate osteoporosis, especially for people with moderate to severe eczema. Here are some suggestions that might help to prevent osteoporosis in order to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis:
> Change to healthier lifestyle and consuming adequate sources of vitamin D, calcium, and protein.
> Being active by doing regular aerobic and weight-bearing activity.
> Avoid taking systemic steroid drugs repeatedly.
> Attempt to better manage the disease with topical drugs.
> If necessary, consult with your doctor to use other systemic drugs that do not affect bone health.
1. Sözen T., Özışık L., and Başaran, N.C. An Overview and Management of Osteoporosis. European Journal of Rheumatology. 2017; 4: 46-56. DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2016.048
2. DerSarkissian C. Osteoporosis and Menopause. Last review on September 4, 2021. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/osteoporosis-menopause
3. Wightman C. Everything You Need to Know About Eczema. Last review on November 24, 2021. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/eczema
4. Holloway J.W., Golding J. and Henderson A.J. Eczema is Associated with Osteoporosis and Fractures in Adults: A US Population-based Study. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2015; 135(4): 1085-1087. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.10.035
5. Ching-Ying W. et al. Osteoporosis in Adult Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Nationwide Population-based Study. PLoS ONE. 2017; 12(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171667
6. Lowe K.E. al. Atopic Eczema and Fracture Risk in Adults: A Population-based Cohort Study. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2020; 145(2): 563-571. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.09.015
7. Robert Shmerling. Eczema Tied to Higher Bone Fracture Risk. Last review on Mei 1, 2022. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/skin-and-hair/eczema-tied-to-higher-bone-fracture-risk
8. Kathryn Doyle. Eczema Associated with Osteoporosis-related Fractures. Last review on Januari 3, 2015. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-eczema-osteoporosis-idUSKBN0KB1CO20150102