Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin condition occurring mostly on the face, scalp and chest. Despite its high frequency, the impact of seborrheic dermatitis on patients' quality of life (QoL) has not been studied well so far. The objectives of this study were to analyse how seborrheic dermatitis affects the patients' QoL and which socio-economic factors could modulate QoL in these patients. A total of 3000 patients with seborrheic dermatitis and/or dandruff were enrolled into the study. All participants were divided into subgroups according to gender, age and education level. A specially designed questionnaire with demographic and clinical details of patients as well as Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) was completed during a patient visit in an outpatient clinic. Data were collected by local dermatologists who were instructed regarding the inclusion and exclusion criteria and the questionnaires were sent back to us upon completion. The mean DLQI score for all patients was 6.92±5.34 points. Patients with dandruff had significantly better QoL than subjects with seborrheic dermatitis (5.34±4.67 points vs. 7.73±5.3 points, respectively; P<0.001) or individuals with dandruff plus seborrheic dermatitis (7.54±5.6 points, P<0.001). In addition, women, younger patients and subjects with higher educational level were more affected than the rest of the patients. Seborrheic dermatitis had significant, negative influence on patients' QoL. Observed discrepancies between subgroups could be explained by different roles played by different patient subgroups in the society. DLQI can be successfully used for the assessment of QoL in large populational studies.
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.