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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2001 Jul;1(4):309-15.

Effects of allergic dermatosis on health-related quality of life.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Allergic dermatosis is a class of immunologic skin diseases manifested as intense itching, which potentially leads to a cycle of skin pain, damage, and infection. Information collected from clinical samples on health-related quality of life shows that some individuals may suffer from poor-quality sleep, physical and emotional distress, and limitations in social functioning. Although many individual factors may moderate the impact of disease on quality of life, disease severity is consistently linked to amount of limitation. There are only sparse data from population surveys in which participants are not selected based on willingness to join a treatment trial for relief of symptoms. This article presents quality-of-life and disease burden data on 559 persons in a community survey who reported signs and symptoms consistent with allergic dermatosis. Quality of life was assessed using the Dermatology-specific Quality of Life (DSQL) questionnaire. Overall, greater disease severity was associated with higher DSQL scores. Noticeable deficits were reported among those who rated their disease as moderate or severe, especially in terms of physical discomfort, sleep disturbance, and negative self-perceptions and emotions. These complaints correlated significantly with out-of-pocket expenses for lotions and emollients to control skin disease. Despite these complaints, the median number of days from the last primary healthcare visit was 453 days, indicating that many dermatosis sufferers are not accessing expert medical care that could alleviate distress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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