Epidemiology of skin diseases in university of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State
Background: Several studies have been carried out to determine the patterns of skin diseases across Nigeria and results have shown changing patterns with the trend reflecting a higher tendency for allergic dermatoses in a majority of these studies. This study was carried out to evaluate the current clinical picture of patients presenting to our clinic.
Materials and Methods: A prospective study of new patients seen in the skin clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, between November 2013 and August 2014 was carried out. A total of 387 patients' data was analysed. Data collected on patients' sociodemographic status and diagnosis were entered into SPSS Version 17 and analyzed. Diagnosis was based on clinical findings, laboratory diagnosis including biopsy and histopathology were requested when necessary to make a diagnosis.
Results: There were more females 245(63%) than males 142 (37%). Most of the patients (81.9%) were aged above 16 years and the commonest skin disease was infections (29.5%) followed by allergic skin diseases (13.6%). There was a significant difference in levels of income of study participants across gender and females who were engaged in unskilled labour were more likely to earn lower than males.
Conclusion: Comparing the study findings with an earlier one from the same center, there is a change in pattern with infections being the most common skin disease. These are largely preventable; public enlightenment campaigns and policies to discourage over the counter purchase of prescription strength corticosteroid creams are highly desirable.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Skin diseases, Prevention, Public enlightenment