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Izvestia Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

What we know about sensitive skin syndrome - the epidemiological frame

Filka Georgieva, Piareta Nikolova


Introduction: Sensitive skin syndrome (SSS) is predominantly a self-defined condition without objective pathological findings. The syndrome presents with easily provoked and sudden flushes and unpleasant sensations like itching, numbness and even pain, caused by stimuli that usually do not lead to such sensations.

Aim: The aim of the study was to establish some epidemiological aspects of SSS in females in the Varna region.

Materials and Methods: In order to assess the epidemiological trends of SSS, data collected from the registers of Medical Center "Medea" Varna for the period April 2017 to April 2019 were analyzed. Questionnaires were given to 972 women at a mean age 43.17 ± 14.45 years (22-68 years) with different skin or aesthetic problems. The diagnosis of SSS was established in 304 cases (31.97%) with 174 (57.23%) of those seeking aesthetic correction and 130 (42.77%) with a health problem.

The age, location, and frequency distribution according to skin phototype were established. Particular emphasis was placed on the trigger factor. Patients completed a survey of ten sensitive skin questions and an additional questionnaire on trigger factors.

Results: Results showed that the overall frequency of SSS was 31.97%.  A total of 174 (57.23%) of the diagnosed were aesthetic visitors and 130 (42.77%) were with some health problem. The distribution according to the underlining health problem was as follows: acne vulgaris - 28 (21.55%), seborrheic dermatitis – 26 (20%), atopic skin – 27 (20.76%), allergies – 33 (25.39%), others – 16 (12.30%). Prevalence of SSS in middle age 41-45 (19.09%) was established, and the most affected zones were face (54.9%) and more precisely – cheeks (61.7%) and eyelids (14.2%). The distribution according to the trigger factor showed a prevalence of cosmetic products – 56.90%, detergents - 21.05%, and cosmetic procedures -  40.88%.

Conclusion: SSS is a serious health problem. The data from our study show that age factors have a significant impact on this syndrome. In addition, skin type and phototype also influence SSS, but the underlying changes in skin status have no significant role. The literature sources reveal that this is first epidemiological study of SSS in our country.


sensitive skin syndrome, trigger factors, epidemiology

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