New Report Says Skin Diseases Affect One in Four Americans; Takes a Toll on Economy

If you have a skin disease, you don’t necessarily need someone telling you how debilitating it is day in and day out. Now, a new study from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that the impact may be even bigger and affect more people than we may think—to the tune of more than 85 million Americans a year.

“The impact of skin disease in this country is staggering, affecting one in every four Americans each year and taking a toll on lives, livelihood and our economy,” said Henry W. Lim, MD, FAAD, incoming president of the AAD and chair of its Burden of Skin Disease Work Group, in a release.

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In a report published March 1 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, which analyzed medical claims from 2013, key findings also included that half of skin diseases are associated with mortality; nearly 50 percent of Americans over age 65 have skin disease, with an average of 2.2 skin diseases each; and $75 billion was spent on skin disease in 2013. In addition, experts estimate that the loss in productivity of those patients and their caregivers cost the economy another $11 billion. 

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