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Skin Diseases Appear to Be Underdiagnosed

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 -- Skin diseases might be more common than previously thought, with a majority of individuals unaware of their condition, according to a study published online March 19 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Linda Tizek, M.P.H., from the Technical University of Munich, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of skin diseases in an unreferred population. Participants were contacted at the 2016 Bavarian Central Agricultural Festival, where public health checkups with screening examinations were randomly performed on 2,701 visitors (53.5 percent women; mean age, 51.9 years).

The researchers found at least one skin abnormality in 64.5 percent of participants. The most common conditions were actinic keratosis (26.6 percent), rosacea (25.5 percent), and eczema (11.7 percent). With age, skin diseases increased. Diagnoses were also more frequent in men than women (72.3 versus 58 percent). Nearly two-thirds of affected participants were unaware of their skin conditions.

"Considering their significant impact on individual, family, and social life as well as their heavy economic burden caused by inadequate self or nonphysician treatment, the public health importance of skin diseases is underappreciated," a coauthor said in a statement.

The study was supported by Beiersdorf Dermo Medical and Novartis Pharma.

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Posted: April 2019

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