Burden of Sensitive Skin (BoSS) Questionnaire and Current Perception Threshold: Use as Diagnostic Tools for Sensitive Skin Syndrome


  • Helena Polena NAOS, Research and Development Department, 75 cours Albert Thomas, FR-69003 Lyon, France
  • Marlène Chavagnac-Bonneville Research and Development Department, NAOS, 75 cours Albert Thomas, FR-69003 Lyon, France
  • Laurent Misery
  • Michèle Sayag




smoking, diagnostic, neurometer, sensory perception, sensitive skin, burden


The assessment of sensitive skin syndrome, characterized by subjective unpleasant sensations, remains a challenge, since there is no international consensus on the best diagnostic tools. This study evaluated the combination of the Burden of Sensitive Skin (BoSS) questionnaire and the current perception threshold as diagnostic tools for sensitive skin syndrome, and the relationship between BoSS and the subjects’ smoking status, phototype and skin type. A total of 100 women completed the BoSS questionnaire, and current perception threshold was measured on the face. The BoSS score was significantly higher in the self-reported sensitive skin group compared with the non-sensitive skin group (25.61 vs 14.05; p < 0.001), and in non-smokers vs smokers (23.00 vs 18.37; p < 0.05). In addition, the current perception threshold values were similar between the sensitive and non-sensitive groups. These results suggest that BoSS is a better diagnostic tool for sensitive skin syndrome than the current perception threshold, and that smokers less frequently have sensitive skin than do non-smokers.


Download data is not yet available.


Misery L, Ständer S, Szepietowski JC, Reich A, Wallengren J, Evers AWM, et al. Definition of sensitive skin: an expert position paper from the special interest group on sensitive skin of the international forum for the study of itch. Acta Derm Venereol 2017; 97: 4-6.

https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2397 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2397

Misery L, Boussetta S, Nocera T, Perez-Cullell N, Taieb C. Sensitive skin in Europe. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2009; 23: 376-381.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.03037.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.03037.x

Farage MA, Maibach HI. Sensitive skin: closing in on a physiological cause. Contact Dermatitis 2010; 62: 137-149.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0536.2009.01697.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0536.2009.01697.x

Talagas M, Misery L. Role of keratinocytes in sensitive skin. Front Med 2019; 6: 1-7.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2019.00108 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2019.00108

Buhé V, Vié K, Guéré C, Natalizio A, Lhéritier C, Le Gall-Ianotto C, et al. Pathophysiological study of sensitive skin. Acta Derm Venereol 2016; 96: 314-318.

https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2235 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2235

Huet F, Misery L. Sensitive skin is a neuropathic disorder. Exp Dermatol 2019; 28: 1470-1473.

https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13991 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13991

Huet F, Dion A, Batardière A, Nedelec AS, Le Caër F, Bourgeois P, et al. Sensitive skin can be small fibre neuropathy: results from a case-control quantitative sensory testing study. Br J Dermatol 2018; 179: 1157-1162.

https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.17082 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.17082

Misery L, Loser K, Ständer S. Sensitive skin. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2016; 30: 2-8.

https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13532 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13532

Misery L, Jean-Decoster C, Mery S, Georgescu V, Sibaud V. A new ten-item questionnaire for assessing sensitive skin: the sensitive scale-10. Acta Derm Venereol 2014; 94: 635-639.

https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-1870 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-1870

Misery L, Rahhali N, Ambonati M, Black D, Saint-Martory C, Schmitt AM, et al. Evaluation of sensitive scalp severity and symptomatology by using a new score. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2011; 25: 1295-1298.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03968.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03968.x

Misery L, Jourdan E, Abadie S, Ezzedine K, Brenaut E, Huet F, et al. Development and validation of a new tool to assess the Burden of Sensitive Skin (BoSS). J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2018; 32: 2217-2223.

https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15186 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15186

Misery L, Jourdan E, Huet F, Brenaut E, Cadars B, Virassamynaïk S, et al. Sensitive skin in France: a study on prevalence, relationship with age and skin type and impact on quality of life. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2018; 32: 791-795.

https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.14837 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.14837

Kim SJ, Lim SU, Won YH, An SS, Lee EY, Moon SJ, et al. The perception threshold measurement can be a useful tool for evaluation of sensitive skin. Int J Cosmet Sci 2008; 30: 333-337.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00434.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00434.x

Falcone D, Richters RJH, Uzunbajakava NE, van Erp PEJ, van de Kerkhof PCM. Risk factors associated with sensitive skin and potential role of lifestyle habits: a cross-sectional study. Clin Exp Dermatol 2017; 42: 656-658.

https://doi.org/10.1111/ced.13133 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ced.13133

Chan MKT, Sayag M, Chavagnac-Bonneville M, Taieb C, Misery L. Sensitive skin in China: characteristics and burden. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2021; 35: e436-e439.

https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.17100 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.17100

Sandby-Møller J, Poulsen T, Wulf HC. Epidermal thickness at different body sites: relationship to age, gender, pigmentation, blood content, skin type and smoking habits. Acta Derm Venereol 2003; 83: 410-413.

https://doi.org/10.1080/00015550310015419 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00015550310015419

Knuutinen A, Kallioinen M, Vähäkangas K, Oikarinen A. Smoking and skin: a study of the physical qualities and histology of skin in smokers and non-smokers. Acta Derm Venereol 2002; 82: 36-40.

https://doi.org/10.1080/000155502753600867 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/000155502753600867

Baron JA. Beneficial effects of nicotine and cigarette smoking: the real, the possible and the spurious. British Medical Bulletin 1996; 52: 58-73.

https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bmb.a011533 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bmb.a011533

Misery L. Nicotine effects on skin: Are they positive or negative. Exp Dermatol 2004; 13: 665-760.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0906-6705.2004.00274.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0906-6705.2004.00274.x

Misery L, Sibaud V, Merial-Kieny C, Taieb C. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol 2011; 50: 961-967.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.04884.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.04884.x

Jourdain R, De Lacharrière O, Bastien P, Maibach HI. Ethnic variations in self-perceived sensitive skin: epidemiological survey. Contact Dermatitis 2002; 46: 162-169.

https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0536.2002.460307.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0536.2002.460307.x

Farage MA. How do perceptions of sensitive skin differ at different anatomical sites? An epidemiological study. Clin Exp Dermatol 2009; 34: e521-523.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03487.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03487.x

Misery L, Myon E, Martin N, Consoli S, Boussetta S, Nocera T, et al. Sensitive skin: psychological effects and seasonal changes. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol 2007; 21: 620-628.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.02027.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.02027.x

Richters R, Falcone D, Uzunbajakava N, Verkruysse W, Van Erp P, Van De Kerkhof P. What is sensitive skin? A systematic literature review of objective measurements. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2015; 28: 75-83.

https://doi.org/10.1159/000363149 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000363149

Ham H, An SM, Lee EJ, Lee E, Kim HO, Koh JS. Itching sensation and neuronal sensitivity of the skin. Ski Res Technol 2016; 22: 104-107.

https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.12236 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.12236

Sun L, Wang X, Zhang Y, Wang T, Li X, Ma Y. The evaluation of neural and vascular hyper-reactivity for sensitive skin. Ski Res Technol 2016; 22: 381-387.

https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.12278 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.12278

Li S, Wang X, Gao Y, Chen S, Liu X, Wang H, et al. CPT, the main test method of skin neuronal sensitivity. Cutan Ocul Toxicol 2015; 34: 208-211.

https://doi.org/10.3109/15569527.2014.950379 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/15569527.2014.950379

Lee E, An S, Lee TR, Kim HK. Development of a novel method for quantitative evaluation of sensory skin irritation inhibitors. Ski Res Technol 2009; 15: 464-469.

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0846.2009.00391.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0846.2009.00391.x

Putz S, Gtabák A, Toth N, Istenes I, Nemeth N, Gandhi RA, et al. Noninvasive evaluation of neural impairment in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care 2009; 32: 181-183,

https://doi.org/10.2337/dc08-1406 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2337/dc08-1406




How to Cite

Polena, H., Chavagnac-Bonneville, M., Misery, L., & Sayag, M. (2021). Burden of Sensitive Skin (BoSS) Questionnaire and Current Perception Threshold: Use as Diagnostic Tools for Sensitive Skin Syndrome. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 101(11), adv00606. https://doi.org/10.2340/actadv.v101.365