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Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI)

Last reviewed: January 2024

Author(s): Dr Sally Monda, Paediatric Resident; Dr Neda So, Dermatology Registrar; and A/Prof David Orchard, Dermatologist, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (2024)

Reviewing dermatologist: Dr Ian Coulson

Edited by the DermNet content department

This DermNet article has been produced with permission of Cardiff University.

Table of contents

What is the CDLQI? 

The Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) is a questionnaire designed to measure the impact of skin disease on the lives of children and young people. The CDLQI also comes in a picture version, the Cartoon CDLQI, which aims to appeal to younger children.

The CDLQI has been translated into many languages, and is available on the Cardiff University website here.

Who uses the CDLQI?

The CDLQI and Cartoon CDLQI questionnaires are available to be used by clinicians and patients to assist in the dermatology consultation, evaluation, and decision-making process. They may also be used by pharmaceutical companies, students, and researchers.

The CDLQI is intended to assess the impact of childhood skin conditions on quality of life in children aged 4–15 years. The Cartoon version is usually only suitable for the age range of 4–12 years. From age 16 years and up, the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) can be used.

Administering the CDLQI

The questionnaires are self-explanatory and patients may fill them in with the help of a parent or guardian. Each questionnaire is usually completed in 1–2 minutes and asks about the effects skin disease has had on the patient’s life over the last seven days.

The Cartoon CDLQI is used in the same way as the CDLQI and has almost identical text, with each question being illustrated with a cartoon. Both questionnaires are comprised of key themes including symptoms and feelings, leisure, school or holidays, personal relationships, sleep, and treatment. The Cartoon CDLQI aims to be more engaging and user-friendly for younger children. The only difference between the two questionnaires is the Cartoon version does not include the question on school in question 7, due its intended use for younger non-school-aged children.

Both versions of the CDLQI are validated and scores may be directly compared. 



  • Cardiff University. Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index. Accessed 2023 June 10. Available here
  • Holme SA, Man I, Sharpe JL, et al. The Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index: Validation of the cartoon version. British Journal of Dermatology. 2003;148(2):285–290. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2003.05157.x. Journal
  • Lewis-Jones MS, Finlay AY. The Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI): Initial validation and practical use. British Journal of Dermatology. 1995;132(6):942–949. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1995.tb16953.x. Journal
  • Salek MS, Jung S, Brincat-Ruffini LA, et al. Clinical experience and psychometric properties of the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), 1995-2012. British Journal of Dermatology. 2013;169(4):734–59. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12437. Journal

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