Background: Bibliometric studies have gained interest in recent years, although most analyses are limited to simple use of average citations rates for journals, also known as the "impact factor". Central Europe has a long tradition of dermatological research which has been negatively impacted by general political developments for a long period. This study was undertaken in order to describe the progress made in recent years. Methods: The study was conducted in two parts: First the annualised national output for the period 1991-2002 was identified for each country by MEDLINE® searches. In the second part of the study a sample was drawn from the papers identified in the first part and the number of citations for each paper noted. Results: The annualised national output showed great variation between countries and from year to year. The mean citation rates were found to vary between 0-5 citations/year, and some underlying publications were 10 years old. Countries with national indexed journals appear to hold a bibliometric advantage over countries without indexed journals. Conclusions: Throughout the last decade of the 20th century the number of publications has grown with an average of 21.7% per year, and publication rates have only suffered in countries directly involved in war or similar disturbances. The mean citation rates were low, with a varying age of the underlying publications. Some cited publications were however old suggesting a persistent relevance. A national or regional indexed journal appears to confer a bibliometric advantage.