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A cross-sectional study to analyze the clinical subtype, contact sensitization and impact of disease severity on quality of life and cost of illness in patients of hand eczema


 Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and Associated Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepika Pandhi,
Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and Associated Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, University of Delhi, Delhi - 110 095
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_333_18

PMID: 32594026

Background: The high incidence, chronicity, frequent recurrences and severity of hand eczema leads to a massive impact on the quality of life. Despite great medical and socioeconomic importance, there is a paucity of data that addresses the cost of illness and economic factors associated with hand eczema. Most of the studies have originated from Europe and none have been reported from India. Aim: To analyze the clinical subtype, the pattern of contact sensitization and the impact of severity of disease on the quality of life and cost of illness in patients of hand eczema. Methods: Hundred patients of hand eczema were recruited and evaluated for morphological patterns of the condition, hand eczema severity index and quality of life (Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire). All patients were subjected to patch tests with Indian standard series, cosmetic series and personal or work-related products. The economic burden of hand eczema was measured by both its direct and indirect costs. Results: Morphologically, chronic dry fissured eczema 36 (36%) was the most common pattern followed by mixed type 19 (19%), hyperkeratotic palmar eczema 15 (15%), vesicular eczema with recurrent eruption 9 (9%), nummular eczema 7 (7%) and wear and tear dermatitis 7 (7%). Seventy nine patients gave positive patch test results. Etiological profile of the most common allergens, as established with a patch test, include potassium dichromate 18 (18%) followed by cetrimonium bromide 17 (17%), nickel 16 (16%), gallate 14 (14%), garlic 9 (9%) and patient's own product 8 (8%). Allergic contact dermatitis was the most common clinical pattern of hand eczema seen in 45 (45%) patients, followed by an irritant 14 (14%) and a combination of both 13 (13%). The average total cost of illness was INR 13,783.41 (0–93,000) per individual per year with an average direct cost of INR 2,746.25 ± 1,900 and indirect cost of INR 4911.73 ± 13237.72, along with a positive correlation with the Dermatology Life Quality Index (P = 0.00). The hand eczema severity index was marginally correlated with direct costs (P = 0.07) and highly correlated with indirect costs (P = 0.024). Conclusion: Hand eczema has a huge impact on the quality of life and economic consequences. Limitations: In our study, parameters like Dermatology Life Quality Index and hand eczema severity index could have been affected by the chronicity of disease as being a tertiary referral centre, most of the recruited patients had severe and persistent hand eczema at the time of visit. Also, cost of illness was based on retrospective calculations on recall basis.


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    -  Kataria V
    -  Pandhi D
    -  Bhattacharya SN
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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow