Highlights from

WCD 2019

World Congress of Dermatology

Milan 10-15 June 2019

New insights into epidemiology and comorbidities of seborrhoeic dermatitis

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common disease that is more prevalent in men and older people and is associated with multiple dermatological comorbidities. An epidemiological study from Germany further characterised the epidemiology and dermatological comorbidity of seborrhoeic dermatitis in an adult population [1].

Seborrhoeic dermatitis affects 1-3% of the adult population. Although it is a quite common chronic skin disease, the epidemiology has been poorly researched. Only a few population-based studies have been published about the prevalence of dermatitis and about its occurrence in connection with other skin diseases.


The current, multi-centre, cross-sectional study determined the prevalence and dermatological comorbidity in a very large cohort of more than 161,000 employed persons, reflecting a substantial proportion of the adult general population in Germany. Seborrhoeic dermatitis was identified in 3.2% of the total sample. A significantly higher prevalence was found in:

• men vs women (4.6% vs 1.4%, P≤0.001 for all age groups),

• higher age (2.0% in persons <35 years old vs 3.6% in persons of 35-64 years old vs 4.4% in persons of ≥65 years old, P≤0.001), and

• persons with light skin (Fintzpatrick skin type 1: 3.8%, type II: 3.4%, type III: 2.5%, type IV: 1.7%).

Dermatological comorbidity

The most frequent comorbid skin conditions in patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis were folliculitis (17.0%), telangiectasia (9.7%), onychomycosis (9.1%), tinea pedis (7.1%), rosacea (4.1%), acne (4.0%), and psoriasis (2.7%). Taken together, the most strongly associated diseases, independently of age and gender, were fungal and bacterial diseases, including folliculitis and seborrhoeic diseases (rosacea and acne).

Complete dermatological diagnosis and therapy

This study confirmed that seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common disease that occurs most frequently in men and the elderly and has an increased rate of dermatological comorbidity. This underlines the necessity of an integrated, complete dermatological diagnosis and therapy.

  1. Zander N, Sommer R, Schäfer I, et al. Epidemiology and dermatological comorbidity of seborrhoeic dermatitis – population-based study in 161,000 employees. Poster presented at the World Congress of Dermatology 2019, 10-15 June, Milan, Italy.

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