Dermatologic conditions in teenage adolescents in Nigeria
Eshan B Henshaw,1 Olayinka A Olasode,2 Evelyn E Ogedegbe,3 Imaobong Etuk4
1Dermatology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, 2Department of Dermatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, 3Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, 4Department of Pediatrics, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Background: Skin disorders are common in adolescents, and the impact on quality of life can be enormous, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the visibility of skin diseases and the psychologically vulnerable period of adolescence. However, few studies have documented the magnitude of skin disorders in this subset of individuals. We therefore estimated the point prevalence and pattern of dermatologic conditions in adolescents attending various secondary schools in Calabar, Southern Nigeria.
Methods: Using a structured questionnaire, relevant sociodemographic information was obtained from 1,447 teenage adolescents from eight secondary schools. Thereafter, a whole body examination was conducted to determine the presence and types of skin disorders seen.
Results: Skin diseases were seen in 929 students. The point prevalence was higher in males (72.1%) than in females (58.3%). Private schools had a higher prevalence than public schools. The six most common dermatoses were acne vulgaris, pityriasis versicolor, nevi, tinea, miliaria, and keloid/hypertrophic scars, and accounted for over 80% of the dermatoses seen.
Conclusion: The point prevalence of dermatoses in senior secondary school adolescents was 64.2%. Although a large number of skin disorders were observed, only a handful accounted for a significant proportion of the diseases seen. This increases the ease of training community health workers in the recognition and treatment of common skin diseases. Age, race, and climatic factors are important determinants of skin diseases in adolescents in Nigeria.
Keywords: skin diseases, adolescents, Nigeria
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