Epidemiology of Skin Disease

Hywel C. Williams


In addition to describing the prevalence and morbidity, modern epidemiology offers one of the most direct methods for identifying the causes of skin diseases such as nicotinic acid causing pellagra or ultraviolet causing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Identifying risk factors for skin disease can lead to effective prevention which is better than treating sick individuals who present after a long chain of pathological events. This chapter explains the importance of thinking in terms of a population diagnosis rather than individual diagnoses and how a public health approach may be effective for some skin conditions such as scabies. Extensive information on the global burden of skin disease is presented, which describes how skin disease is a leading cause of disability‐adjusted life years. The chapter concludes with a description of a needs assessment for planning appropriate and comprehensive skin care, along with a useful glossary, checklists and further reading resources.
Keywords epidemiology, global burden, morbidity, causes, populations, prevention, environment


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