Inflammatory bowel disease associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has no single cause, with genetics, immune system dysfunction and the gut microbiome all implicated. The condition causes inflammation where the immune system attacks healthy tissues. IBD is also well known to be associated with skin conditions affecting the entire body [1]. One of such associated skin conditions is atopic dermatitis (AD) also known as eczema. AD is a long-lasting common skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, and itchiness of the skin. The cause of AD is complex with multiple factors including genetic risk, immune system dysfunction and environmental exposures [2].   

Recently published results of a longitudinal study, conducted over twenty years and including hundreds of thousands of participants, suggest a close association between AD and IBD. The study found that 44% of children and 34% of adults with AD have an increased probability of developing IBD compared to people without eczema [3]. The probability is influenced by AD acuteness, age, and subtype of IBD. Treatment of the skin diseases associated with IBD involves managing IBD itself, including biological medications, such as Stelara or immune altering medications such as JAK inhibitors [2, 3].  

Any information provided in this article is general in nature and not medical advice. If you feel like you have the skin condition mentioned above, please see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.   

To read more about other conditions associated with IBD please visit our website:  


[1] Antonelli E, Bassotti G, Tramontana M, Hansel K, Stingeni L, Ardizzone S, Genovese G, Marzano AV, Maconi G. Dermatological Manifestations in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 19;10(2):364. doi: 10.3390/jcm10020364. PMID: 33477990; PMCID: PMC7835974.  

[2] Dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis | DermNet [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 22]. Available from: 

[3] Chiesa Fuxench ZC, Wan J, Wang S, Syed MN, Shin DB, Abuabara K, Gelfand JM. Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Patients With Atopic Dermatitis. JAMA Dermatol. 2023 Oct 1;159(10):1085-1092. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.2875. PMID: 37647058; PMCID: PMC10469290. 

[4] Care AGD of H and A. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) | Ustekinumab [Internet]. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care; [cited 2023 Oct 22]. Available from: