Impairment of Sexual Life in 3,485 Dermatological Outpatients From a Multicentre Study in 13 European Countries
Salek, Mir-Saeed Shayegan
Skin conditions may have a strong impact on patients' sexual life, and thus influence personal relationships. Sexual issues are difficult to discuss directly in clinical practice, and a mediated instrument may be useful to capture such information. In this study item 9 of the Dermatology Life Quality Index was used to collect information on sexual impact of several skin conditions in 13 European countries. Among 3,485 patients, 23.1% reported sexual problems. The impairment was particularly high in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa, prurigo, blistering disorders, psoriasis, urticaria, eczema, infections of the skin, or pruritus. Sexual impact was strongly associated with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. It was generally more frequent in younger patients and was positively correlated with clinical severity and itch. It is important to address the issue of sexual well-being in the evaluation of patients with skin conditions, since it is often linked to anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideation.