People who have eczema feel less secure in romantic relationships than those who do not, a new study says; but when they are in a relationship, they find it just as satisfying as anyone else.
Jan Dieris-Hirche and colleagues at the University of Giessen in Germany report their findings in a paper released online ahead of publication in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica.
Their initial assumption was that "the presence and severity of AD affects partnership satisfaction, since the negotiation of intimacy and tenderness seemed to be complicated" by psychic issues connected to poor self-image.
The authors compared attitudes of two age-and-sex-matched 62-person groups: one of eczema patients, the other of "normal" controls.The average age of the subjects was 29, and two-thirds were women.
Answering questionnaires, eczema patients said they felt less close to their partners, trusted them less, and felt more anxious about being left than the control group did.
(The authors point out that, although the severity of symptoms was correlated to the degree of insecurity, it isn't clear which causes which.)
However, eczema patients felt just as satisfied in relationships by three measures--fighting, intimacy, and communication--as the control group.
The authors did not address the question of whether people with eczema are more or less likely than others to form romantic relationships.