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Can atopic eczema and psoriasis coexist? A systematic review and meta?analysis

Cunliffe, Amy; Gran, Sonia; Ali, Umair; Grindlay, Douglas; Lax, Stephanie; Williams, Hywel; Burden-Teh, Esther

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Amy Cunliffe

Associate Professor

Umair Ali

Douglas Grindlay

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Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology


Importance: Previous studies report both co-existence and mutual exclusivity of atopic eczema (AE) and psoriasis, but these have not been appraised systematically. Knowledge of such disease association throws light on disease mechanisms and may influence therapeutic choices.

Objective: To summarise evidence for AE and psoriasis occurring in the same person at the same point in time. Planned primary outcome was the incidence, prevalence or risk of psoriasis or eczema.

Methods: Ovid MEDLINE and Ovid Embase were searched from inception to 1st February 2020. The search strategy was built around the key terms ‘atopic eczema’, ‘psoriasis’ and ‘co-existence’. Observational studies (cohort, case-control, cross-sectional and case-series) with a minimum of 10 consecutive patients. There were no restrictions on participants, geography or language. Studies were selected, data extracted and critically appraised independently by two reviewers. Data were extracted on the method of diagnosis: health professional (dermatologist, criteria, other), self-reported, not specified. Study quality was assessed using the validated Joanna Brigg’s Institute critical appraisal tool. A random-effects model was used to combine studies.

Results: This review included 31 studies and 20 523 individuals with psoriasis and 1, 405 911 with AE. Eight studies reported the prevalence of AE in those with psoriasis and values ranged from 0.17% to 20%: the pooled prevalence was 2% (95%CI 1, 3). Seven studies reported the prevalence of psoriasis in those with AE and values ranged from 0.3% to 12.6%; the pooled prevalence was 2% (95%CI 1, 3). Ten studies were assessed as low risk of bias. Geographical area, method of diagnosis, setting and whether the assessment of diagnosis was blinded partly contributed to the heterogeneity.

This review provides some evidence for the co-existence of AE and psoriasis. Clinicians should be aware of co-existence at diagnosis, when selecting therapies and when reviewing poor response to treatment.


Cunliffe, A., Gran, S., Ali, U., Grindlay, D., Lax, S., Williams, H., & Burden-Teh, E. (2021). Can atopic eczema and psoriasis coexist? A systematic review and meta?analysis. Skin Health and Disease, 1(2), Article e29.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2021
Online Publication Date May 5, 2021
Publication Date 2021-06
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 10, 2021
Journal Skin Health and Disease
Electronic ISSN 2690-442X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 2
Article Number e29
Public URL
Publisher URL


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