PATTERN OF SKIN DISEASES IN PATIENTS VISITING A TERTIARY CARE HEALTH FACILITY AT HYDERABAD, PAKISTAN
AbstractBackground: The morbidity associated with skin diseases makes them an important public healthproblem. Very scanty literature is found on the problem which is either disease-based, communitybased or a specified population group-based. Objective of this study was to assess the pattern ofskin diseases in patients and to determine their relation with demographic characteristics.Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at Dermatology Out-patient Department ofLiaquat University Hospital, Jamshoro, Pakistan for the period from 10th January to 10th February2008. Four hundred and eleven patients were enrolled during the study period. The studypopulation comprised of newly diagnosed cases as well as relapsing cases presenting at thefacility. The criterion for registering the patients was clinical diagnosis although few cases weresupported by investigations, too. The data was collected through a pre-designed questionnaire andanalysed through SPSS-12. Result: Skin problems are fairly common among children and women.In children of less than 10 years age, 82.5% visiting the facility suffer from infectious skindiseases. Among the infectious diseases, scabies is highly prevalent disease (45.5%). The majorityof the patients belong to rural or slum areas (77.2%), low socio-economic strata (68.9%), andliving in overcrowded families (82%). A strong association between skin infections and waterinadequacy (p=0.016) was found, and scabies shows a strong statistical association withovercrowding (p=0.025). Conclusion: The skin diseases involve every age strata of ourpopulation but it is fairly common in younger age group, women, and people who do not practicehygiene. Out-reach services for the rural and slum communities and health education will givegood results on prevention of skin diseases.Keywords: Skin diseases, demographic characteristics, environmental factors.
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