The stigma of skin disease

Julie H. Wu, Bernard A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The effects of skin disease on stigmatization are important but understudied in the pediatric population. Given the highly visible nature of dermatologic conditions, stigmatization is a common problem that requires significant attention in patients with skin diseases. In this review, we examine the recent literature addressing stigmatization of patients suffering from common dermatologic diseases with the goal to increase clinician awareness of these issues and identify new avenues for future research. Recent findings A number of studies have examined the impact of skin disease on psychosocial well being and quality of life. Although some skin diseases are often overlooked medically and considered to be primarily cosmetic issues, the long-term consequences of skin diseases on psychosocial health, especially in pediatric patients, can be profound. Summary The precipitating factors for stigma vary widely depending on age, sex, and culture. In order to effectively reduce the impact of pediatric skin diseases on psychosocial health, physicians should be able to identify specific characteristics that may increase risks for stigmatization in chidlren. Carefully monitoring psychosocial development in pediatric patients with dermatological conditions in addition to proactively guiding patients and families to appropriate resources can benefit the child’s development and overall long-term well being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Hemangiomas
  • Psoriasis
  • Stigmatization
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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