Guidelines can be developed on a national or multinational level. There are discussions concerning the relevance of different guidelines at different regional levels. Guidelines' evaluation can be approached by looking at the items "awareness", "agreement", "adoption" and "adherence". To assess the awareness of national and European (EDF/EADV) guidelines as a means of guidelines' evaluation. Online survey in five selected European countries (Germany [D], Spain [E], France [F], Italy [I], and the United Kingdom [UK]) among 257 dermatologists assessing awareness of different guidelines (European [EDF/EADV], German, Spanish, French, British). Participants were volunteers registered with a field market research company database. Mean awareness of EDF/EADV guidelines in all countries was 54 %, with lower results in the UK (33 %) and Germany (37 %) and higher awareness in Spain (63 %) and Italy (79 %). Awareness of the national guidelines was very high within the respective countries (mean 92 %). The European guidelines where always the best known guidelines after the respective national guidelines. The most important tools for dissemination of all guidelines were the original publication (63 %) and scientific presentations (46 %).This study identified widespread interest in guidelines as assessed by the grade of awareness. Awareness of European guidelines was higher in countries with late development of national guidelines (i.e. Spain and Italy) compared to countries with early development of own national guidelines such as Germany and the UK. National guidelines can reach almost complete awareness within their respective countries. The original publication is still the most important dissemination tool for guidelines. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.