Prevalence of skin infections, infestations, and papular urticaria among adolescents in secondary schools in Calabar, Nigeria

  • Eshan B Henshaw
  • Olayinka A Olasode
Keywords: Dermatoses, Infections, Adolescents, Nigeria, Prevalence


Background: Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous gland, and the most common dermatosis in adolescents globally. Infectious dermatoses are common in the tropics, but due to the paucity of epidemiologic surveys, not much is known about the prevalence and common types found in different sub-populations including adolescents.
It is however presumed that the prevalence will be high and the pattern diverse. We therefore conducted a school-based survey to ascertain the prevalence and pattern of infectious dermatoses, infestations, and papular urticaria (insect bite reactions) in teenage adolescents in Calabar, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross sectional observational survey of adolescents aged 13-19 years attending randomly selected secondary schools in Calabar, Nigeria. It involved the use of  questionnaires and subsequent whole body examination.

Results: A total of 1447 senior secondary school students were examined. Infectious dermatoses, infestations, and papular urticaria (IDIP) were observed in 505 (34.9%) persons, among whom were 269 (53.3%) males, and 236 (46.7%) females (X2=34.87, p=<0.001). Fungal dermatoses constituted more than 90% of the diseases, the bulk of which was contributed by pityriasis versicolor [430 (79.6%)]. The six most common dermatoses in descending order of frequencies were Pityriasis versicolor, tinea, papular urticaria, candidiasis, furuncles, and viral warts.

Conclusion: A high prevalence of cutaneous infections exists among teenage adolescents in Calabar, Nigeria. Males have a higher predisposition to fungal dermatoses. Control of the predominant cause of cutaneous infections – pityriasis versicolor, will significantly affect the prevalence of infectious dermatoses, and invariably, the burden of skin disorders in adolescents in Calabar, Nigeria.

Keywords: Dermatoses, Infections, Adolescents, Nigeria, Prevalence

Funding: Self sponsored


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0016-9560