Seborrheic Dermatitis Survey Shows Burdensome and Lengthy Path to Diagnosis

Seborrheic Dermatitis Survey Shows Burdensome and Lengthy Path to Diagnosis image

Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Inc., shared results of a nationwide survey of adults with seborrheic dermatitis and the health care providers who treat them that highlights the long path to diagnosis and the general lack of awareness and education about the disease. The online survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Arcutis and included 300 U.S. adults (18+ years of age) who had been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis by a healthcare provider, of which 84% reported their current condition to be moderate or severe, and 601 licensed U.S. healthcare providers specializing in dermatology, including dermatologists, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs). The results were presented as a poster at the 2022 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The survey found that individuals with seborrheic dermatitis often experienced a long and burdensome path to diagnosis, reporting an average of 3.6 years from symptom onset to seeking care, although patients reporting severe disease sought care within 1 year of symptom onset. In contrast, healthcare providers underestimated the time it takes for people with seborrheic dermatitis to receive a diagnosis, reporting an average of just 1.5 years. These findings suggest that individuals delay seeking care despite experiencing symptoms. In addition, prior to diagnosis, 63% of individuals didn’t think their symptoms were severe enough to warrant medical attention.

“It’s staggering to see that there is a two-year difference in what healthcare professionals believe the path to diagnosis is, compared to the lengthy and frustrating journey that individuals with seborrheic dermatitis actually experience,” says Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Director of the Center for Eczema and Itch at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a news release. “As clinicians, it’s important for us to recognize that the patient journey often starts long before the decision to seek care, as individuals often do not fully understand the scope and severity of their disease.”

According to the survey, individuals with seborrheic dermatitis lacked awareness and education about the disease prior to diagnosis. Specifically, 71% said that they had not heard of seborrheic dermatitis and 56% found it hard to find information online about the disease. In addition, most (83%) individuals did not realize all their symptoms (e.g., itching, flaking, redness on the face, body, scalp etc.) were due to seborrheic dermatitis, and 76% mistook their symptoms for another skin condition. Almost all (90%) individuals wished they had known that there were specific symptoms to identify seborrheic dermatitis. Additionally, many individuals with seborrheic dermatitis reported that they were embarrassed to talk to family or friends (59%) and healthcare providers (58%) about symptoms.

“The social stigma behind skin conditions that cause visible symptoms like flaking and redness can create real and perceived barriers to diagnosis and care,” says Frank Watanabe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arcutis. “By providing more education and resources, we can help address the stigma and embarrassment that are often associated with seborrheic dermatitis, help reduce the time from symptom onset to diagnosis, and ultimately help to improve the care of those living with the condition.”

Seborrheic dermatitis affects more than 10 million people in the U.S., and is a common, chronic or recurrent inflammatory skin disease that causes red patches covered with large, greasy, flaking yellow-gray scales, and persistent itch

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