Kristine Kucera, PA-C, MPAS, DHS


The World Health Organization declared October 10 Mental Health Day. With this, they acknowledged the hidden burdens of skin disease. A large survey focused on patients suffering from dermatological conditions showed that mental burdens brought on by skin disease include stigmatization, disgust, rejection and fear of contagion. In addition, half of all participants reported moderate or high anxiety or depression.

For the study, researchers surveyed 19,915 adults throughout Europe who had one or more skin problem or disease during the previous 12 months. Participants (45% men) completed the Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire and answered questions regarding the impact of their skin disease on daily and work life, anxiety/depression, and stigmatization. About a half of participants with acne, alopecia, or chronic urticaria, and about 40% of those with atopic dermatitis (AD), skin cancers, or psoriasis reported a modest to extremely large effect of skin disease on their quality of life. About half of the respondents associated their skin disease with sleeping difficulty, tiredness, and negative impact on self-care.

These findings remind us that treating patients requires us to go beyond the skin and should include empathy, respect, and an interest in the effects of skin disease on each patient’s quality of life.

Kristine Kucera, PA-C, MPAS, DHS, is Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Texas Southwestern, Medical Center PA Program, Dallas, TX. She is a member of the DEF Advisory Council.




2. Gisondi P, Puig L, Richard MA, 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. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2023;37 Suppl 7:6-14. doi:10.1111/jdv.18917




Embarassemtn and skin disease data