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Dermatology Online Journal

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Top dermatologic diagnoses by age


Background: Although some skin conditions predominate in patients of certain ages, little data exists about the relative prevalence of dermatologic conditions by age.Objectives: To determine the common skin conditions by age group in the United States, both in dermatologist samples and for all specialties.Methods: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) was queried for top diagnoses at dermatologist and all skin disease visits from 1993-2010. ICD-9 coding was used for diagnoses.Results: There were 588 million estimated visits to dermatologists in the US from 1993-2010. Atopic dermatitis, acne, and actinic keratosis were the top diagnoses in all age groups. Common diagnoses in all groups included contact dermatitis and benign neoplasm. There were 740 million estimated skin disease visits to all physicians; more of these were acute or infectious. The percent of skin diseases seen by dermatologists gradually increased with age to a maximum of 55% in the 75-84 year age group.Conclusion: Dermatologic conditions seen in different age groups and between dermatologists and non-dermatologists vary. With advancing age, Americans increasingly seek a dermatologist rather than a non-dermatologist physician for skin conditions.

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