25 May 2022

25th May 2022 - Geneva

Today, a patient-led multi-stakeholder group of like-minded organizations – including dermatology patient organizations, health care professionals (dermatologists and dermatology nurses), researchers, and industry – announced the formation of the Global Dermatology Coalition. This announcement comes during the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva, as a first step in changing perceptions about the often-severe impacts of these diseases and elevating their prioritization in health policy both at the global and country levels.

Skin, the largest and most visible organ of the body, plays a key role in protecting other organs from the outside world, while at the same time, is vulnerable to attack. This vulnerability can lead to highly burdensome and sometimes lethal dermatological conditions.  Diseases of the skin, mucosae, nails and/or hair are a leading cause of global disease burden (GDB)1.  They affect nearly 900 million people in the world at any time and are the fourth most frequent cause of human illness globally1.   Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases, including atopic eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, albinism, acne, alopecia and thousands of rare skin diseases2. Dermatological diseases cause substantial pain, disfigurement, disability, and stigma while they also lead to significant psychological, social and financial burdens for patients and their families.  Theses diseases can be inflammatory, infectious and malignant, and are among the most prevalent and disabling disorders, particularly in low resource countries.

Despite the substantial scale of this health burden, these diseases, unlike other non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) or neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), do not receive the global policy prioritisation they deserve.  Because skin diseases can occur at any age, they have a profoundly negative impact on the health and wellbeing of patients, their caregivers and families all around the world. Due to their lifelong nature, dermatological conditions lead to sustained economic costs and can pose threats to healthcare systems.

“Collaborative action is needed to change the hard reality faced by skin patients and for this reason we have established the Global Dermatology Coalition. Together, our organizations are actively working to improve patient outcomes globally. This would mean improved access to the diagnosis, care, treatments and support they need, when they need it – no matter where they live in the world,” said Jennifer Austin, CEO of the International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organizations (also knowns as GlobalSkin). “The Coalition speaks as one voice because patients with skin diseases, their caregivers and their families  deserve to live without stigma, for their diseases not to be minimized and to achieve a higher quality of life.”

“Few people are aware of the health, social, mental, and economic cost of caring for skin diseases such as atopic eczema. While it is too often treated at surface level, patients need a multidisciplinary approach to their care so that they can live their lives to the fullest. That is why EFA Patients is proud to join this international coalition. Each year EFA as a community of European allergy and atopic eczema patient associations work with GlobalSkin to raise awareness on World Atopic Eczema Day, and we look forward to this collaboration to expand this work further.” said Carla Jones, EFA President

For more information visit:


Visnja Zaborski Breton

Director of Public Affairs

International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organizations (GlobalSkin)

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Isabel Proaño

Director of Policy and Communications

EFA Patients

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The Global Dermatology Coalition is comprised of the following organizations:


Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation

Dermatology Nurses Association

European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations (EFA)

European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR)


International Federation of Psoriatic Disease Associations (IFPA)

International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS)

International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organizations (GlobalSkin)

International Pemphigus Pemphigoid Foundation (IPPF)

La Roche-Posay International

Lupus Europe

Naevus Global

Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA)



Sanofi Genzyme

1. The global burden of skin disease in 2010: an analysis of the prevalence and impact of skin conditions.

J Invest Dermatol. 2014; 134: 1527-1534

2. Dermatology: The Burden of Skin Disease
American Academy of Dermatology:

Quick Facts:

Skin: largest organ of the body

  • essential for life (barrier, protection)
  • first contact surface: critical for social relationship and individual well being

More than 3000 skin diseases

  • Can occur at all ages, worldwide
  • involving skin, mucosae, nails and/or hair
  • Various groups:
  • o Inflammatory-immune mediated dermatoses
  • o Infectious (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic)
  • o Malignant skin tumours
  • o Hereditary/congenital dermatosis
  • A leading cause of global disease burden (GBD) affecting millions of people in both high income and low-income countries.
    • 3 skin diseases: among the top 10 most prevalent diseases 
    • 8 skin diseases: among the top 50 most prevalent diseases 


Estimated prevalence

Psoriasis (2019)




Fungal infection




Bacterial infections




(Source: GBD and WHO study, 2010)


Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs):

The majority of NTDs occur in the tropics and sub-tropics and have particular characteristics in common:

  • They afflict the poorest people, particularly those without access to the safe water, sanitation, and basic health services.
  • Many are chronic, slowly developing conditions that become progressively worse if undetected and untreated. The damage they cause can be irreversible.
  • They can cause severe pain and life-long disabilities, with long-term consequences for the person and also for family members who have to care for the person.
  • People with NTDs are often stigmatised and excluded from society, and this can affect their mental health.
  • The individual diseases are very different, and one person can be affected by more than one disease at the same time.