Sleep Apnea and Skin

Vinaya Soundararajan, Jennifer Lor, Anna B. Fishbein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Skin disease is associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) both epidemiologically and mechanistically. In this review, we highlight conditions which have a well-established link to obstructive sleep apnea, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Recent Findings: We describe putative mechanistic links between OSA and skin disease involving inflammatory pathways, obesity, mechanical upper airways obstruction, and hypoxia. In the context of these mechanisms, we describe specific skin conditions, and other conditions which are associated with both skin manifestations (including hair/nail findings) and OSA. The risks/benefits of CPAP in the context of skin disease are also reviewed. Summary: We conclude that further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind the associations between OSA and skin disease. Given the frequent co-occurrence of OSA and skin conditions, there would be great benefit for OSA clinical trials to consider improvement in skin disease as an outcome measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Sleep Medicine Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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