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The impact of sensitive skin on quality of life

Filka Georgieva, Joanna Velevska, Tsveta Kalinova, Valentina Brostilova


Introduction: Sensitive Skin Syndrome (SSS) is officially defined as a syndrome with unpleasant sensations like itching, pain, and numbness in response to stimuli that usually do not cause such sensations. In most of the cases it is a self-defined condition without objective pathological findings. Few studies have underlined the influence of SSS on the quality of life (QoL). The main problem is that people with sensitive skin suffer both with and without topical or internal care, which puts them in an extremely complex position and still without a solution.

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of SSS on QoL.

Materials and Methods: The presented study includes 304 females self-diagnosed with SSS. Demographic data and disease-related characteristics were collected. The measurement tools, for assessing Sensitive Skin included 10-item version of Sensitive Scale. For the evaluation of QoL Dermatological Life Quality Index (DLQI) a questionnaire was applied. Additionally, QoL of these patients was comparable to that of patients with hand eczema (HE) and those suffering from dermatoses accompanied by severe itch (Lichen simplex chronicus LSC).

Results and Discussion: Results showed the overall frequency of SSS – 31.97% with the following distribution 57.23% in aesthetic visitors and 42.77% in those with a health problem. The total DLQI score reported by the SSS-patients was 8.4±3.29. Patients scores were significantly high for Q1 (feelings), Q2 (embarrassment), and Q3 (free time/leisure) (p<0=001).

Conclusion: All the reported and analyzed results indicate that SSS has a negative impact on most of the QoL-domains for every patient (p<0.001). Consequently, sensitivity of skin moderately affects QoL of the patients. This is the first study in our country, which aims to measure the impact of sensitive skin on QoL of patients.


sensitive skin, quality of life, Dermatology Life Quality Index

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About The Authors

Filka Georgieva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Dermatology and Veneorology

Joanna Velevska
Medical University of Varna

Department of Dermatology and Veneorology

Tsveta Kalinova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Dermatology and Veneorology

Valentina Brostilova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Dermatology and Veneorology

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