Economic Impact of Skin Disease Highlighted in New Report

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Burden of skin disease in the U.S.
Burden of skin disease in the U.S.

(HealthDay News) — Skin diseases have a major impact on Americans and the U.S. economy, according to a report published online March 1 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Researchers from the American Academy of Dermatology looked at medical claims data from 2013 on 24 skin diseases, and estimated that more than 85 million Americans are affected. Skin cancers accounted for 60 percent of skin disease-related deaths.

The number of people in the United States with skin diseases in 2013 was higher than those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and end-stage renal disease. That year, 26 percent of Americans reported receiving treatment for at least one skin disease, according to an academy news release. Nearly half of Americans older than 65 have a skin disease, with an average of 2.2 skin diseases each, the researchers found.

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The researchers also found that costs related to skin disease were a burden on the U.S. population. In 2013, the United States spent $75 billion on these skin conditions. Most of this was for treatment, including $46 billion in health care provider costs. That year, skin disease patients and their caregivers experienced $11 billion in lost productivity. This doesn't include additional time for at-home care and treatment.

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