Prevalence of most common skin diseases in Europe: a population-based study

M. A. Richard*, C. Paul, EADV burden of skin diseases project team, T. Nijsten, P. Gisondi, C. Salavastru, C. Taieb, M. Trakatelli, L. Puig, A. Stratigos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: The assessment of the prevalence of diseases is of primary importance in planning health policies. No complete data on the prevalence of skin diseases across European countries are available. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of the most frequent skin conditions or diseases in 27 European countries (24 EU countries, plus Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). METHODS: We conducted a population-based study on representative and extrapolable samples of the general population aged 18 years or more in each of the 27 countries surveyed. Participants were selected using stratified, proportional sampling with a replacement design. Data were collected using a web-based online survey. All participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire with sociodemographic data and to declare if they have had one or more skin conditions or diseases during the previous 12 months. RESULTS: A total of 44 689 participants from 27 countries responded to the questionnaire, 21 887 (48.98%) men and 22 802 (51.02%) women. The proportion of participants who reported having suffered from at least one dermatological condition or disease during the previous 12 months was 43.35% (95% CI: 42.89%, 43.81%). The projection in the total population of the 27 countries included in the study resulted in 185 103 774 individuals affected by at least one dermatological condition or disease. Accordingly, we can estimate that more than 94 million Europeans complain of uncomfortable skin sensations like itch, burning, or dryness. The most frequent conditions were fungal skin infections (8.9%), acne (5.4%), and atopic dermatitis or eczema (5.5%). Alopecia, acne, eczema, and rosacea were more common in women, whereas men were more likely to suffer from psoriasis and sexually transmitted infections. CONCLUSION: Skin diseases are an important public health concern. Their high prevalence has to be taken into account in planning access to dermatological care to address patient needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1096
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV
Issue number7
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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© 2022 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.


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