The quality of life impact of acne and rosacea compared to other major medical conditions

J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Jun;13(6):692-7.


Background: Acne and rosacea cause significant negative impact on quality of life. There is limited information comparing the health-related quality of life (HRQL) impact associated with acne and rosacea to other patient populations.

Purpose: We review available literature to assess the HRQL impact of acne and rosacea and compare them with major medical conditions.

Methods: A PubMed search identified studies that utilized the Short Form 36 (SF-36), the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and the willingness-to-pay (WTP) metric to assess the HRQL impact of acne and rosacea. These data were compared to HRQL values for other diseases.

Results: The HRQL impact of acne is similar to asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, back pain, arthritis, and coronary heart disease using SF-36 data. DLQI scores for acne ranged from 2 to 17.7 and for rosacea ranged from 4.3 to 17.3; the DLQI scores for psoriasis ranged from 1.7 to 18.2. WTP data identified ranged widely for both acne and rosacea.

Limitations: There was limited broadly generalizable data for acne and rosacea.

Conclusions: Acne and rosacea impact HRQL to a similar degree as other major medical conditions by indirect comparison to psoriasis, a skin condition causing significant disability, and by direct comparison for acne. In the setting of limited health care resources, allocation should be grounded in the evidence that acne and rosacea are not trivial in their effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / economics
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Psoriasis / economics
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Psoriasis / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resource Allocation / economics
  • Rosacea / economics
  • Rosacea / pathology
  • Rosacea / psychology*