The Global Burden of Skin and Subcutaneous Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study From 1990-2017

Main Article Content

Rachel Lynn Giesey
Sino Mehrmal
Prabhdeep Uppal
Gregory Delost


acne vulgaris, alopecia areata, bacterial skin disease, decubitus ulcer, dermatitis, dermatoses, Disability adjusted life years (DALYs), epidemiology, fungal skin disease, global disease burden, Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) database, global medicine, incidence, prevalence, psoriasis, pruritus, scabies, skin disease, sociodemographic index (SDI), subcutaneous disease, urticaria, viral skin disease


Background: The global prevalence and disability of skin and subcutaneous diseases have grown annually in recent decades. Large-scale epidemiologic data is useful for better characterization of skin disease to create more impactful and sustainable interventions.

Methods: We assessed multiple global trends in skin and subcutaneous disease from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries worldwide through the latest Global Burden of Disease Study results from 2017.

Results:Skin and subcutaneous disease grew 46.8% between 1990 to 2017 and is ranked fourth by incidence of all causes of disease. There is global variation in disease burden when stratified by age, sex, geographic regions, and sociodemographic index. Many global regions experience disproportionately elevated disease burden from certain subcategories of skin and subcutaneous disease. Wealthier countries generally experienced the highest age-standardized disability rates of skin and subcutaneous disease.

Conclusion: The incidence, prevalence, and disability of skin and subcutaneous diseases are increasing disproportionately among countries and sociodemographic groups. This data may improve our understanding of skin and subcutaneous diseases to direct funding and resources to reduce global disparities.


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