Study Highlights Dermatology Resident Views on Sensitive Skin Education


In a recent article published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, researchers shed light on the educational exposure and perspectives of dermatology resident physicians regarding sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin, typified by symptoms such as redness, itching, burning, and stinging triggered by innocuous stimuli, affects approximately 70% of the global population, with 40% having sensitive skin as their sole skin condition. Despite its ubiquity, a consensus on diagnostic criteria and management approaches remains elusive. The research aimed to evaluate dermatology residents’ exposure to sensitive skin education, their perspectives on the condition, and their management strategies.

Among the key findings in the study:

  • A resounding 99% of dermatology residents advocate for inclusion of sensitive skin education in their residency training, underscoring its recognized significance in dermatological care.
  • Less than half (48%) of the residents reported receiving specific education on sensitive skin, with 51% receiving non-specific education in the context of other skin diseases.
  • Residents with specific education on sensitive skin showed higher levels of self-reported knowledge about sensitive skin diagnosis, clinical evaluation, and management compared to those without specific education.
  • There was a lack of consensus among residents regarding the primary etiology of sensitive skin, with 69% attributing it to skin barrier alteration and others considering external/environmental factors, immune dysregulation, or other dermatoses as the primary cause.
  • Approaches to sensitive skin treatment were heterogeneous and reinforce the necessity for standardized guidelines.

The study also emphasized the critical need to integrate specific and comprehensive education on sensitive skin into dermatology residency programs. The authors advocated for bolstering research on sensitive skin and developing evidence-based guidelines as steps in enhancing sensitive skin education during dermatology residency. Such efforts would not only benefit residents in their training but also improve the quality of care provided to patients with sensitive skin.

The study was spearheaded by George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences fourth-year medical student Erika T. McCormick and Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD, chair of the department of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, underscored the imperative need for enhanced education about sensitive skin in residency programs to advance patient care, according to a press release.

Source: McCormick E, Friedman A. Perspectives and Educational Exposures. J Drugs Dermatol. 2024;23(2):85-89.

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