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Sleep Apnea and Skin

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge Ms. Andrea Fawcett for her help in the literature review.

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Correspondence to Anna B. Fishbein.

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Conflict of Interest

Dr. Fishbein has grant support from Pfizer and served as consultant for Regeneron. Dr. Fishbein also has grant support from NIH.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Sleep and Sleep Apnea at the Extremes

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Soundararajan, V., Lor, J. & Fishbein, A.B. Sleep Apnea and Skin. Curr Sleep Medicine Rep 6, 94–100 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40675-020-00179-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40675-020-00179-7

Keywords

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