Frequency of skin diseases in a random sample of adult Poles

Radoslaw Spiewak

Institute of Dermatology, Krakow, Poland

Source: Spiewak R. Czestosc wystepowania chorob skory w losowej grupie doroslych Polakow. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2012; 2 (2): 50-53. (In Polish)


Little is known about the epidemiology of skin diseases in the general population of Poland. Aim: To assess the prevalence of skin diseases in a random sample of the general population. Material and methods: 145 randomly selected adults from a rural community in Eastern Poland participated in the study on a voluntary basis: 67 women and 78 men aged 18-75 years (median 43 years). Data on the lifetime prevalence of skin diseases (past or present disease) were collected using a standardised, doctor-administered questionnaire. The most probable diagnosis of skin disease was established by a dermatologist, based on information from the questionnaire, morphology of skin changes (if present upon the examination), and medical records from previous treatment presented by the participants. Results: Of the 145 persons studied, 42 (29.0%; 95%CI: 21.6-36.3%) reported having any skin disease in the past or at present. Most frequently, they had experienced symptoms of eczema/dermatitis (10.3%; 95%CI: 5.4-15.3%), acne (4.8%; 95%CI: 1.3-8.3%), tinea/onychomycosis (3.4%; 95%CI: 0.5-6.4%), urticaria and psoriasis (2.8% each; 95%CI: 0.1-5.4%). Cutaneous adverse drug reactions were reported by 2.1% (95%CI: 0.0-4, 4%). Some of the skin problems seemed to be played down by the rural residents when comparing with data from other populations. These figures, therefore, may reflect the frequency of skin diseases perceived as a problem and remembered by the people, rather than all skin problems, including minor ones. Conclusion: Every third adult person in Poland has had a skin disease ever in life, most frequently various forms of eczema or acne.

Keywords: dermatoepidemiology, epidemiology, skin diseases, general population, questionnaire study, medical examinations.

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Dermatologist-allergist in Krakow (Cracow), Poland

Estetologia Medyczna i Kosmetologia

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Document created: 13 March 2013, last updated: 14 March 2013.