• atopic dermatitis;
  • psoriasis;
  • quality of life;
  • urticaria


Background  A better management of chronic skin disorders (CSDs) requires a knowledge of their impact from the patient's point of view.

Objectives  To determine which aspects of the patient's life are mainly impaired in the different CSDs, and provide comparative references to estimate better the real impact of the different CSDs.

Patients and methods  A prospective cross-sectional and matched study of 1356 adult outpatients to compare the health-related quality of life (HRQL) profile in chronic urticaria (466 CU), psoriasis (464 PSO) and atopic dermatitis (426 AD), using the VQ-Dermato, a multidimensional instrument in French validated for CSDs.

Results  After adjustment for confounders, HRQL dimensions were differently affected in the three CSDs. The ‘physical discomfort’ dimension was more degraded in AD and CU than in PSO (P < 0·001), and ‘leisure activities’ more in PSO than in CU (P < 0·001). ‘Self-perception’ and ‘treatment-induced restrictions’ dimensions were much less affected in CU than in PSO and AD (P < 0·001). In PSO, the ‘daily living activities’ dimension was much less impaired than in CU and AD (P < 0·001). No aspect of HRQL was really spared in AD.

Conclusions  The comparison shows that CU, PSO and AD are characterized by completely different qualitative profiles of impact on HRQL, which are influenced by their clinical characteristics and usual treatment options. It underlines the severe impairment of CU which is often underestimated.