Financial Burden of Atopic Dermatitis Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses in the United States

Wendy Smith Begolka*, Raj Chovatiya, Isabelle J. Thibau, Jonathan I. Silverberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background Atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with considerable financial cost. However, the full burden of out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses is not well understood. Objective We sought to characterize the OOP health care expenses associated with AD management. Methods A 25-question voluntary online survey was administered to National Eczema Association members worldwide (n = 113,502). Inclusion criteria (US residents age ≥18 years who either self-reported had AD or were primary caregivers of individuals with AD) were met by 77.3% (1118/1447) of respondents. Results Respondents reported OOP expenses in 3 categories: (1) health care providers and prescriptions, including health care provider visit deductibles (68.7% [686]), prescription co-pays (64.3% [635]), and prescriptions not covered by insurance (48.6% [468]); (2) nonprescription health care products, including moisturizers (94.3% [934]), hygiene products (85.0% [824], allergy medications (75.1% [715]), itch relievers (68.25% [647]), dietary supplements (52.2% [491]), and sleep aids (37.0% [336]); and (3) complementary approaches, including cleaning products (74.7% [732]), clothing/bedding (44.8% [430]), alternative medications (19.0% [180]), and adjunctive therapies (15.9% [150]). The median annual AD OOP expense was US $600 (range, US $0-$200,000), with 41.9% (364) reporting expenditures US $1000 or greater. Conclusions Out-of-pocket expenses place a significant financial burden on individuals with AD. Additional studies are needed to better understand associations and impact of OOP costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S62-S70
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


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