Seborrhea is a skin condition characterized by abundant production of sebum associated with typical dermatological conditions such as rosacea and acne. Little is known about the prevalence of seborrhea and the frequency of concurrent skin diseases in the general population.
Objective: To investigate the epidemiology and comorbidity of seborrhea in the adolescent and adult working population.
Methods: In large-scale examinations by dermatologists in 343 German companies, the seborrheic skin type and the occurrence of skin findings were documented electronically. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of further skin diseases were computed. Logistic regression analyses were conducted for each disease using seborrhea as dependent variable.
Results: A total of 48,630 employees were examined. About 6.0% showed seborrhea (6.6% in men, 5.4% in women). Seborrhea strongly predicted acne (OR 3.59; CI 3.18– 4.05), trichilemmal cysts (OR 1.99; CI 1.25– 3.18) and rosacea (OR 1.45; CI 1.17– 1.81). Regression analyses controlling for age, gender and phototype confirmed significant associations of seborrhea with acne and rosacea.
Conclusion: Only a minor proportion of the working population shows meaningful seborrheic skin. However, this condition predicts distinct skin diseases and thus needs attention, in particular, with respect to consulting and secondary prevention.