Indian Pediatrics 2001; 38: 77-80
Pattern of Skin Diseases in Children in Garhwal Region of Uttar Pradesh
In India we have varied social customs, religions, climate and socio-economic conditions and therefore the pattern of skin diseases varies from region to region. In children dermatoses are an important health problem. Various studies(1,4) have been conducted in different parts of India to under-stand the skin problems in children which have shown varying patterns. In view of paucity of data from Garhwal region in Uttar Pradesh the present study was conducted to evaluate the pattern of skin diseases in a hospital set up.
The study is based on 1754 children aged 0-14 years seen at Dermatology OPD of the Himalayan Institute Hospital, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, U.P. from January 1998 to December 1998. A thorough skin examination was conducted by a dermatologist and certain investigations were carried out wherever necessary in the reference laboratory of the hospital under the supervision of a Pathologist and Microbiologist.
These children (n = 1754) had 2455 epi-sodes of dermatoses. An episode indicates the number of skin diseases present at a time in a child. Out of total 2455 episodes in children, infectious dermatoses were observed in 1250 (50.9%) while non-infective and nutritional deficiency dermatoses were seen in 775 (31.6%) and 430 (17.5%), respectively (Table I). Among the infectious dermatoses, Pedi-culosis capitis was found in 555 (22.6%) children being three time more in the girls. Other common diagnoses were pyoderma in 383 (15.6%) children, followed by scabies in 125 (5.1%) and dermatophytosis in 106 (4.3%) subjects (Table II). Among non-infective dermatoses Pityriasis alba in 256 (10.4%) children and eczema in 198 (8.1%) were the major presentations (Table III). Nutritional deficiency dermatoses primarily manifested as sparse hair and pigmentation disorders (Table IV).
Among pediatric dermatoses, infectious dermatoses contributed 50.9% of all cases under study. Infective disorders are reported to be high in most of studies ranging from 63.5%(1) to 85.2%(2). Similar results were also reported earlier(3,5). This can be attributed to poor hygienic and sanitary conditions, lack of awareness and poor health services. Pediculosis capitis and pyoderma infections are major problems occurring in 22.6% and 15.6%, respectively. Among these dermatoses, girls are more affected (35.8%) as compared to boys (11.2%). Similar sex differences were reported for Pediculosis capitis(1). Pediculosis capitis was observed to be the commonest problem by other authors from different regions(3,4,6,7). The reason for this is that most of the girls keep long hair and do not wash them so frequently. Scabies was observed in only 5.1% cases. Bhatia(1) also reported low scabies prevalence whereas this was the commonest disease in under six year children in a slum of Mumbai(7). Pityriasis alba and eczema were the major presentations among non-infective dermatoses whereas sparse hair and pigmentated skin were found in 6.2% and 7% among nutritional deficiency skin diseases. Similar findings have been reported earlier(8).
Contributors: KSN coordinated the study (particularly its design, analysis and interpretation) and drafted the paper; he will act as the guarantor for the manuscript. SDK participated in data collection and also helped in drafting the paper. DP helped in clinical diagnosis and in laboratory investigations.