Addressing Autoimmune and Immune-mediated Skin Disease Burden in Women

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Published 3/15/22

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) published a commentary in the Women’s Health Issues, examining the gaps in research; severity in disease burden, psychological burden, caregiver burden; and policy opportunities as it relates to autoimmune (characterized by antigen presence) and immune-mediated (broadly involving abnormal activity of the immune system) skin disease in women. Insights for this paper were collected from a series of meetings and public events that SWHR hosted with expert researchers, clinicians, patient advocates, and health care policy leaders in the autoimmune skin space, with special emphasis on alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 23.5 million people in the United States have confirmed autoimmune diseases, which are a leading cause of disability and growing in prevalence across the country. Women represent more than 80% of autoimmune patients, and when these chronic conditions affect the skin, physiological function, comorbidities, and sociocultural influences can greatly impact a person’s physical and mental well-being and carry a large public health burden.

Much is still unknown as to how and why autoimmune and immune-mediated skin diseases are triggered in and affect women differently than men. SWHR’s paper seeks to highlight critical knowledge and research gaps and recommend policy solutions to reduce the burden and improve care for women living with autoimmune and immune-mediated skin diseases.

Read The Full Paper Here

This material was created by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) and is intended to serve as a public educational and informative resource. This material may be cited or shared on external channels, websites, and blogs, with attribution given to SWHR, or printed and displayed in its original formatted version. SWHR encourages the sharing and reposting of its content in order to spread awareness around women’s health issues. For specific questions about sharing SWHR content, please reach out to


SWHR’s Autoimmune Skin Program is supported by an educational sponsorship from Eli Lilly and Company. SWHR maintains editorial control and independence over educational content.

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