Sex differences in the incidence of skin and skin-related diseases in Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States, and a comparison with other rates published worldwide.
Many skin and skin-related diseases affect the sexes unequally, with attendant implications for public health and resource allocation. To evaluate better the incidence of skin and skin-related diseases affecting males vs. females, we reviewed published population-based epidemiology studies of skin disorders performed utilizing Rochester Epidemiology Project data. Females had a higher incidence of the following diseases: connective tissue diseases (scleroderma, morphea, dermatomyositis, primary Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus [not in all studies]), pityriasis rosea, herpes progenitalis, condyloma acuminatum, hidradenitis suppurativa, herpes zoster (except in children), erythromelalgia, venous stasis syndrome, and venous ulcers. Males had a higher incidence of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, basal cell carcinoma (exception, females aged ≤40 years), squamous cell carcinoma, and lentigo maligna. Incidence rates were equal in males and females for cutaneous malignant melanoma (exception, higher in females aged 18-39 years), lower-extremity cellulitis, cutaneous nontuberculous mycobacterial infection, Behçet disease, delusional infestation, alopecia areata, and bullous pemphigoid. Many of the population-based sex-specific incidence rates of skin and skin-related diseases derived from the Rochester Epidemiology Project are strikingly different from those estimated elsewhere. In general, females are more commonly affected by skin and skin-related diseases. The reasons for this imbalance remain to be determined and are likely multifactorial.