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Had skin allergy, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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SALLERGYR identifies sample children (and sample adults in 2012 and 2021) who had eczema or any kind of skin allergy during the past 12 months. Interviewers asked the broad opening question, "During the past 12 months, has [name] had any of the following conditions?" with eczema or skin allergy among the many conditions named. The inquiry did not specify that the eczema or skin allergy had to be diagnosed by a doctor or other health professional, nor did it limit allowed responses to allergies of a particular severity (i.e., those severe enough to require treatment or medication). The follow-up question to this is SKINALLERGY. The ordering of these questions is deliberate and is used to distinguish between individuals who self-diagnose and individuals who have been diagnosed by a health professional. Individuals are first asked if they have a current skin allergy, if they respond with "yes", they will be then asked if the allergy was diagnosed by a health professional.

The Field Representative's Manual for 2001 forward defined eczema as "an acute, or chronic, noncontagious, itching inflammatory disease of the skin." This definition was not routinely shared with respondents.

Related Skin Problem Variables 

In 2007, respondents were asked if during the past 12 months sample children had severe acne (ACNEYR), warts (WARTSYR), or a skin problem other than eczema, acne, or warts (SKINOTHYR).

For sample adults in 2002 and 2007, a question was included that asked whether sample adults had skin problems during the past 12 months (SKINPROBYR).

For more information on related allergy variables see (FALLERGYR).


Other than changes to the universe, this variable is comparable over time. In 2012 only, sample adults aged 18 and older were also included in this variable. All other years include only sample children under the age of 18. Otherwise, there are no comparability issues.

Starting in 2021, question wording was changed to “Do you get an itchy rash due to eczema or atopic dermatitis?”, thereby removing the specification for the 12-month range and specifying the symptoms required for a current skin allergy.

Comparability may be affected by changes to the universe over time and the 2019 questionnaire redesign. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 1997-2011: Sample children under age 18.
  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18.
  • 2013-2018: Sample children under age 18.
  • 2021: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18.


  • 1997-2018, 2021