There are 5000 skin diseases and conditions listed in the 11th Edition of International Classification of Disease, by far the largest number for any system.
In Scotland, about one in three people has something wrong with their skin at any one time, and about one quarter of the population visit their GP with a skin problem each year. These 1.2 million visits comprise about one in five of all GP consultations in Scotland. More than 100,000 Scots are referred to hospital dermatology departments.
About 50,000 Scots are referred each year with suspected skin cancer, and more people are treated for skin cancer than are treated for all other cancers.
Skin conditions are one of the main reasons for time lost from employment and education with significant costs to the economy as well as to individuals. The stigma and stress associated with chronic disfiguring skin conditions is an important cause of mental health problems including adolescent suicide.
People with all 5000 diseases of the skin have a common interest in the quality and availability of NHS services to diagnose and treat their condition as speedily, expertly, and effectively as possible. Services should be no less accessible or expert for people with skin disease than for those with other diseases. Health priorities set by Government, training priorities set by the GMC, and targets such as waiting times directly affect the quality of life of people with skin disease.
SCCS campaigns for people with skin conditions to be treated equally by service providers and policy makers, to people with other conditions.
Common Skin Conditions Explained
With thanks to NHS Education Scotland’s Healthcare Associated Infections Project Team
NHS Education Scotland has two important resources on skin conditions, primarily aimed at healthcare professionals.
The Dermatology Pocket Guide
Common Skin Conditions booklet aims to assist healthcare staff in managing most of the common dermatological conditions they are likely to encounter in their clinical practice. It will aid in diagnosis, formulating prescriptions and assisting in identifying referral pathways if necessary. It was co-written by SCCS Board Member and nurse adviser, Barbara Page.
Hands suffering from dermatitis are proven to carry large numbers of bacteria which can, in turn, increase the risk of healthcare associated infections in patients. Good hand care and simple precautions can reduce the risk of developing hand dermatitis. The pocket guide and train the trainer presentation provides health and social care workers with a better understanding of good hand care and prevention of skin damage.