Skin diseases can cause a psychosocial burden and feelings of stigmatization, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
Paolo Gisondi, M.D., from the University of Verona in Italy, and colleagues evaluated the burden of the most common dermatological diseases in adult patients across Europe in terms of quality of life, work life, and stigmatization. The analysis included survey responses from 19,915 individuals.
The researchers found that quality of life was particularly impaired in people with hidradenitis suppurativa and sexually transmitted diseases. A modest to extremely large effect on quality of life was seen in roughly half of participants with acne, alopecia, or chronic urticaria and about 40 percent of those with atopic dermatitis, skin cancers, or psoriasis. Overall, 88.1 percent of participants considered their skin disease as embarrassing slightly more in their personal life than in their work life (83 percent).
Furthermore, roughly half of the respondents reported sleeping difficulty, feeling tired, and impact of the disease on taking care of themselves. Roughly one in seven (14.5 percent) believed they have been rejected by others because of the skin disease, and 19.2 percent believe they have been looked at with disgust. Across diseases, anxiety and depression were frequently reported.
“Our study highlights the psychosocial burden experienced by people with skin diseases, and the need to address their impact on quality of life and stigmatization in the context of patient management,” the authors write.
Paolo Gisondi et al, Quality of life and stigmatization in people with skin diseases in Europe: A large survey from the ‘burden of skin diseases’ EADV project, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (2023). DOI: 10.1111/jdv.18917
Matthias Augustin et al, Learning lessons for the battle against disease burden and stigmatization in chronic skin diseases: Call for action needed?, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (2023). DOI: 10.1111/jdv.18985
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