The Group aims to accept for review any aspect of skin disease management which it feels will be of value to professionals or to lay people with an interest in skin disease. It will thus accept all randomised controlled trials of interventions relevant to the prevention of skin disease, the treatment and management of established skin disease, and the prevention of complications of skin diseases. This includes alternative/complementary treatments.
In November 2008 the Group registered the title of its first Cochrane systematic review of diagnostic test accuracy on 'Clinical diagnosis by GP versus clinical diagnosis by dermatologist for skin cancer in people suspected of skin cancer'.
In addition to the more traditional skin diseases seen by dermatologists, the scope of the Group includes any skin problem that leads an individual to consult a healthcare professional and thus also includes areas that may be perceived as cosmetic, such as skin ageing. The Group also considers evidence about treatments that are sold over-the-counter or are otherwise widely available and which might be used for the treatment of skin problems. The effectiveness of different models of health care delivery and management for skin disease is also considered part of the scope of the Group.
The Group considers that sexually transmitted diseases, although commonly managed by dermatologists, are, in general, best considered by other Groups, such as the STI Group.
There are at least 1000 skin disease reaction patterns described, which are classified according to the British Association of Dermatologists' Diagnostic Index. This classification is used to populate the topic list of each Cochrane review.