Taiwanese study shows men with the skin condition eczema may have a higher chance of developing Erectile Dysfunction
9th February 2012
A recent study by experts at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan has indicated that a link may exist between males who have the allergic skin disease eczema, and erectile dysfunction. Eczema is a form of dermatitis and is a term that is applied to a wide range of continual skin conditions. In the calmest form of the disease, eczema may be nothing more than a slightly bothersome area of sore skin. However, in severe cases extensive areas of skin may become inflamed and insufferable for the sufferer due to persistent itchiness. Other symptoms include skin edema (swelling), dryness, redness, flaking, crusting, blistering, cracking, and bleeding. Those with more serious cases of eczema can sometimes develop low self-esteem and struggle at school or work due to this. Unfortunately they are also more susceptible to herpes, skin fungal, and wart infections. Researchers for the new study examined insurance claims information on almost 4,000 men with recently diagnosed erectile dysfunction and then analysed them against nearly 20,000 men of the same age who had no previous background of erectile dysfunction. Lead researcher Shiu-Dong Chung and his colleagues discovered that nearly 11% of men with erectile dysfunction had eczema prior to diagnosis of the former, whilst fewer than 7% of men without any impotence problems had a history of eczema. They then took into account health problems such as heart disease and diabetes and concluded that men with erectile dysfunction were 60% more likely to have a history of eczema than men without any impotence issues. Chung’s unit argues that a possible reason for this may be due to underlying inflammation of the diseases effecting blood vessels as well as the skin. They do admit though that further research is necessary to reproduce similar results, and they did not look into any of the subject’s lifestyle habits or their family history. Donald Leung, an allergy expert at National Jewish Health in Denver, was sceptical of the findings. “It relied on administrative claims, which may not be accurate. It was also not clear whether the men had eczema at the time of the erectile dysfunction diagnosis or at some point years earlier”. He further adds “More studies are needed to confirm that atopic dermatitis alone may be a cause of ED”.