In 2017 the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) has launched the 5th edition of its White Book: “The Challenge of Skin Diseases in Europe”.
At its inception in 1997 the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) produced a position paper entitled: ‘The Future of Dermatology in Europe’. This paper mapped out the goals of the EDF against the challenges of the ‘new’ Europe and changing climate of delivering appropriate healthcare to EU citizens. By 2001, this white paper had expanded into the first edition of the EDF White Book, edited by Peter Fritsch, which defined the competencies of professionals in dermatology and venereology, highlighted the scientific gains in our knowledge of skin physiology and pathology, and provided a platform for the promotion of the highest standards of clinical practice.
With the advent of further changes and new challenges in dermatovenereology, a completely revised second edition of the EDF White Book was published in 2005, edited by Peter Fritsch and Walter Burgdorf. Thereafter, in 2010 a third edition of the White Book, edited by Jonathan Barker and Walter Burgdorf was published, and in 2013, a considerably expanded and updated 4th edition entitled “The Challenge of Skin Diseases in Europe was produced,again edited by Jonathan Barker and Walter Burgdorf.
Skin diseases and sexually transmitted infections account for 20% of all diagnoses in the doctors office, and therefore present a major public health challenge for Europe. The clinical presentations range from minor transient problems to severe, debilitating diseases and include different cancers, cutaneous and systemic infections,allergies,genetic disorders and chronic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, all with a high burden to patients’ well-being and quality of life. The prevalence of certain diseases, especially skin cancers, allergies, chronic wounds and sexually transmitted infections, is steadily increasing, due in part to environmental factors and ageing of the European population. Moreover, Dermato-Venereologists are being further challenged by the burden of disease borne by the large number of refugees and migrants now making their home in Europe. The treatment of skin diseases and sexually transmitted infections generates profound health economic concerns, notably as more effective, but often more expensive therapies become available for common problems like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. In addition, sexually transmitted infections, including HPV and HIV/AIDS, require considerable resources. Correct diagnosis and prompt treatment can reduce management costs, cut morbidity and greatly improve the patients’ quality of life, further underscoring the importance of Dermato-Venereology. Professionals trained in the discipline provide leadership in undergraduate and graduate teaching as well as research with a focus on disease prevention and development of new treatments.
This completely revised 5th edition of the EDF White Book (2017) describes the present burden of skin and sexually transmitted infections within Europe and shows how provision of care as well ascosts vary across the continent. The White Book outlines the high impact of these diseases, discusses their prevention and management, and provides up-to-date information on key clinical and scientific advances. A directory of national dermatological associations, European dermatology societies and patient organizations, is included to provide a complete and valuable resource that will be useful to thoseinvolved in healthcare policy decision making. The White Book should be of interest to a broad spectrum of policy makers including representatives of medical schools, hospital administrators,politicians, healthcare providers including Dermato-Venereologists and physicians belonging to different medical disciplines, the pharmaceutical and medico-technical industry, and last, but not least, patients and patient organizations.
It has been the mission of the EDF, ever since its foundation in 1997, to implement actions aimed at preventing skin diseases and improving the quality of healthcare for people with skin diseases and sexually transmitted infections, including allergy and skin cancer. This 2017 edition of the EDF White Book supports this vital work.
The 6th edition of the EDF White Book will be ready and distributed in 2020.