The global burden of skin disease in 2010: an analysis of the prevalence and impact of skin conditions

J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Jun;134(6):1527-1534. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.446. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2010 estimated the GBD attributable to 15 categories of skin disease from 1990 to 2010 for 187 countries. For each of the following diseases, we performed systematic literature reviews and analyzed resulting data: eczema, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, pruritus, alopecia areata, decubitus ulcer, urticaria, scabies, fungal skin diseases, impetigo, abscess, and other bacterial skin diseases, cellulitis, viral warts, molluscum contagiosum, and non-melanoma skin cancer. We used disability estimates to determine nonfatal burden. Three skin conditions, fungal skin diseases, other skin and subcutaneous diseases, and acne were in the top 10 most prevalent diseases worldwide in 2010, and eight fell into the top 50; these additional five skin problems were pruritus, eczema, impetigo, scabies, and molluscum contagiosum. Collectively, skin conditions ranged from the 2nd to 11th leading cause of years lived with disability at the country level. At the global level, skin conditions were the fourth leading cause of nonfatal disease burden. Using more data than has been used previously, the burden due to these diseases is enormous in both high- and low-income countries. These results argue strongly to include skin disease prevention and treatment in future global health strategies as a matter of urgency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Dermatology / trends
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality / trends
  • Prevalence
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology