Gender differences in medicine have been recognized in anatomy, physiology, as well as in epidemiology and manifestations of various diseases. With respect to skin disorders, males are generally more commonly afflicted with infectious diseases while women are more susceptible to psychosomatic problems, pigmentary disorders, certain hair diseases, and particularly autoimmune as well as allergic diseases. Significantly, more female sex-associated dermatoses can be identified than the male sex-associated dermatoses. Dermatoses in the genital area differ between men and women. Gender differences also exist in the occurrence and prognosis of certain skin malignancies. The mechanisms underlying gender differences in skin diseases remain largely unknown. Differences in the skin structure and physiology, effect of sex hormones, ethnic background, sociocultural behaviour and environmental factors may interact to exert the influences. A better understanding of gender differences in human health and diseases will allow the development of novel concepts for prevention, diagnosis and therapy of skin diseases.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.