ed and eczema

When Skin Issues Hit Below the Belt

Though seemingly unrelated, studies suggest that there is a link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and eczema. Many people rely on medicines such as Dupixent, a prescription medication used to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) by targeting and inhibiting specific proteins involved in the inflammatory process. Keep reading to learn more about the link between these conditions and their subsequent treatment options.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, itchy and/or red skin. It can occur anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the hands, face, neck and legs. Eczema is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors that lead to a dysfunctional skin barrier and an overactive immune response. More than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema, per the National Eczema Association.

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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It is a common condition, particularly in older men, and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

Physical Factors

Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity can impair blood flow and nerve function, leading to ED.

Psychological Factors

Stress, anxiety, depression and relationship problems can contribute to ED.


Some medications for treating high blood pressure, depression and other conditions can cause ED as a side effect.

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity can also play a role in the development of ED.

Different Kinds of ED

There are various kinds of ED, all of which have different symptoms and affect the body differently. The different categories include:

Vascular ED

The most common type of ED is vascular ED, affecting the blood vessels that send blood to the tissues in your penis that allow you to get and maintain an erection, or the valves in the penis that normally hold blood inside.

Neurogenic ED

Neurogenic ED occurs as a result of nerve problems, which prevent signals from traveling from your brain to your penis to create an erection. This can happen because of trauma, pelvic surgery, radiation therapy or neurologic conditions like stroke, spinal stenosis and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Hormonal ED

Hormonal ED can occur as a result of a testosterone deficiency, or in some cases as a result of thyroid issues.

Psychogenic ED

Psychogenic ED involves psychological conditions, meaning your thoughts, feelings or behavior cause your ED.

What is the Link Between ED and Eczema?

Upon first glance, ED and eczema seem unrelated; ED is primarily a vascular and psychological issue, while eczema is a chronic skin condition. However, studies have begun to suggest that the two conditions might be linked. A study by researchers from Taipei Medical University found 4,000 men diagnosed with impotence and compared them with 20,000 men with no ED history. The team found out that nearly 11 percent of men diagnosed with ED had eczema.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Yale found that individuals with eczema are three times more likely to experience binge eating disorder and twice as likely to experience anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. This suggests a strong link between eczema and deteriorating mental health. As we know, ED is extremely common for men struggling with psychological issues.

But why does eczema seem to have such a strong impact on people’s mental health?

Changes in a person's physical appearance can seriously affect their emotional health, which can heavily impact their sex lives and libido, leading to sexual dysfunction or intimacy challenges. Indeed, the emotional and even physical impact of the eczema flare-up is exacerbated if it's near the vagina, penis, buttocks, thighs or chest area, with some studies showing that up to 45% of eczema cases occur in the genital area.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Fortunately, both of these conditions are relatively common and thus many treatment options are available. For ED, some treatments include:


Oral medications, including sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil or avanafil, help increase blood flow to your penis and help treat ED. Medications you inject directly into your penis are also available, and work by creating an erection.

Penile Low-intensity Focused Shockwave Therapy (LiSWT)

This non-invasive treatment improves blood flow by using sound waves. It can take two months to see improvement.

Vacuum Constriction Device (Penis Pump)

Penis pumps start to work almost immediately.

Eczema Treatment Option

Treatment options for eczema include:

Topical Treatments

Corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors and moisturizers can help reduce inflammation and alleviate itching. There are also medicines available such as Dupixent, a prescription medication that targets and inhibits specific proteins involved in the inflammatory process.


Exposure to ultraviolet light under medical supervision can help reduce eczema symptoms.

Lifestyle Modifications

Avoiding known triggers, maintaining good skin hygiene and managing stress can help prevent flare-ups.

From Skin to Sex

Navigating the link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and eczema highlights the complex interplay between physical and psychological health. While seemingly unrelated, both conditions can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. Understanding the potential connections, such as the impact of eczema on mental health and its subsequent effect on sexual function, can guide more comprehensive treatment approaches.

Effective management of ED may include medications like sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis), lifestyle modifications and addressing psychological factors. For eczema, treatments such as topical therapies, phototherapy and medications like Dupixent can provide relief. By recognizing and addressing both conditions, individuals can improve their overall well-being and quality of life.