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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Apr;23(4):376-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.03037.x.

Sensitive skin in Europe.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, University of Western Brittany, Brest, France.



Sensitive skin appears as a very frequent condition, but there is no comparative data between countries.


To perform an epidemiological approach to skin sensitivity in different European countries.


An opinion poll was conducted in eight European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. This sample (4506 persons) was drawn from a representative sample of each population aged 15 years or older.


Sensitive or very sensitive skin was declared by 38.4% and slightly or not sensitive skin by 61.6%. Women declared more sensitive skin than men. A dermatological disease was declared by 31.2% of people with very sensitive skin, 17.6% of those with sensitive skin, 8.7% of those with slightly sensitive skin and 3.7% of those who do not have sensitive skin. A history of childhood atopic dermatitis was more frequent in patients with sensitive or very sensitive skin. The interviewees who declared that they had dry or oily skin also reported significantly more frequently sensitive or very sensitive skin than those with normal skin. Sensitive and very sensitive skins were clearly more frequent in Italy and France.


This study is the first study that compares skin sensitivity in European countries. Prevalence is high, but significant differences are noted between these countries. Dermatological antecedents (or treatments?) could be involved in the occurrence of skin sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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