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The true cost of living with atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis affects so much more than just your skin

We have been working towards building a clearer picture about the true burden of AD and have commissioned new research to uncover the cost of living with AD in the European Union (EU), both financially and emotionally. You can read the full paper here, but we’ve put together a top-line overview for you below.

Our Findings


Across Europe, patients with moderate-to-severe AD spend up to €4.7 billion every year managing their condition.1

Research has shown that the overall cost of moderate-to-severe AD is considerably higher in people with uncontrolled symptoms, or more severe AD.2,3

Personal medical costs

These are direct costs that you pay towards medical treatment, which may be the 'obvious' costs you first think of when it comes to AD. Examples include:

  • Medications and treatments
  • Medical appointments
  • Hospitalisations
  • Laboratory and diagnostic tests

Personal non-medical costs4

These are the more subtle costs that aren’t associated with your medical treatment. People living with moderate-to-severe AD can spend up to €462 every year on personal non-medical costs.4 Examples of personal non-medical costs include:

  • Transport to and from medical appointments
  • Over-the-counter treatments and medical supplies, such as emollients, moisturisers, and bandages
  • Special food, clothes, and household items considered helpful in managing AD symptoms
  • Hygiene products

Indirect costs

Living with AD can have an impact on your wellbeing and productivity. Naturally, flares don’t always come at convenient times, and so it’s likely that you’ll have faced some indirect costs – for example:

  • Wage or salary losses for you (a person with AD), caregivers, or even family members
  • Missing days of work or school
  • Being less productive at work or school
  • Difficulty accessing jobs

A study in the Netherlands showed that people living with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe AD had much higher rates of work productivity losses compared to those with controlled moderate or severe AD.2

Woman with calendar

A study in Italy found that people with moderate-to-severe AD had an average of 21 days a year where their work ability was reduced due to sleep deprivation because of itch.5 This made up 30% of the total working days in the year.

Women sat on a bench

The impact of AD on your quality of life

One of the hardest things to measure is the impact AD can have on your wellbeing and happiness, and overall quality of life, whether you suffer from AD yourself, or care for someone who does.

A study in Spain found that quality of life was linked to both disease severity and performance levels at work or school,6 which could lead to financial impacts as well.

Examples of the impact AD might have on your life:

  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Relationship breakdowns
  • Sleep deprivation due to itching and scratching, or due to caring for a child with AD
  • Inability to perform housework and everyday activities
  • Reduced work or school performances
  • Stress
  • Social isolation
  • Low self esteem

So, how much is your AD really costing you? Potentially, a lot more than you thought. If you’ve found this summary helpful, you can read the full paper below.

Read the whitepaper

AD takes so much. It’s time to take control.

If your current treatment isn’t effectively managing your symptoms and AD is significantly impacting your daily activities, ability to work, or mental wellbeing, your AD may be uncontrolled. Speak to your dermatologist about a long-term plan to try and take control of your AD.



Discussing treatments with your doctor can feel daunting, but we've got the information you need to feel confident in your appointments.

Discover more

AD Glossary


Feeling lost in a sea of terminology? Our glossary can help you feel confident when you discuss your AD.

Expand your vocabulary

Managing AD

Managing AD

Feeling like you've tried everything to manage your AD? Don't lose hope. We've got the tips, tools and information you need to get closer to control.

Go to Managing AD


  1. Augustin M, Misery L, Kobyletzki LV, et al. Unveiling the true costs and societal impacts of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in Europe. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 2022. 36(S7): p. 3-16.

  2. Ariens, L.F.N., et al., Economic Burden of Adult Patients with Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis Indicated for Systemic Treatment. Acta Derm Venereol, 2019. 99(9): p. 762-768.

  3. Sircras-Mainar A, Navarro-Artieda R, Carrascosa Carrillo JM. Economic Impact of Atopic Dermatitis in Adults: A Population-Based Study. Actas Dermosifiliogr 2018. 109: p. 35-46.

  4. Launois R et al. Importance of out-of-pocket costs for adult patients with atopic dermatitis in France. JEur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 2019. 33(10): p. 1921-1927.

  5. Sciattella P et al. The burden of atopic dermatitis in adults in Italy. G Ital Dermatol Venereol, 2020. 155(1): p. 19-23.

  6. Torrelo A et al. Atopic dermatitis: Impact on quality of life and patients' attitudes toward its management. Eur J Dermatol, 2012. 22(1): p. 97-105.