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    Prevalence of skin diseases among schoolchildren in Magong, Penghu, Taiwan: a community-based clinical survey.

    J Formos Med Assoc 2008 Jan;107(1):21-9
    Department of Dermatology, Armed Forces Taichung General Hospital, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan.
    Background/purpose: Skin diseases are common in children. Epidemiologic studies of skin diseases in schoolchildren performed by direct inspection by dermatologists are limited in Taiwan. The current study surveyed the prevalence of selected childhood dermatoses in Magong City, Penghu, the largest offshore island of Taiwan.

    Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in June 2005, in which a total of 3273 children aged 6-11 years living in Magong were examined by at least two board-certified dermatologists, with regard to the point prevalence of acne, ephelides, atopic dermatitis, warts, keloids, vitiligo, fungal infections, alopecia areata and psoriasis. The skin of the scalp, face, neck, trunk and extremities were inspected; that of the breast, genitalia and feet were skipped for privacy.

    Results: Acne vulgaris was found at the age of 7 in both genders, with comedones being the earliest manifestation. The overall prevalence of acne was 17.3% (95% CI, 16-18.6%). Ephelides were frequently observed in the children (prevalence rate, 15.24%; 95% CI, 14-16.47%). The prevalence of atopic dermatitis was 4.33% (95% CI, 3.63-5.03%), with more boys affected than girls (1.49:1) (p = 0.03). The prevalence of warts on the hands was 2.81% (95% CI, 2.24-3.38%). Keloids were identified in seven boys and four girls, accounting for 0.33% of the children (95% CI, 0.13-0.53%). Three children had vitiligo (prevalence rate, 0.09%; 95% CI, 0-0.19%). The prevalence of fungal infection including tinea nigra, tinea versicolor and tinea corporis was 0.24% (95% CI, 0.07-0.41%). Neither alopecia areata nor psoriasis was identified.

    Conclusion: Compared with our previous study in Kaohsiung County using similar methodology, the point prevalence of atopic dermatitis and ephelides was significantly higher whereas that of fungal infection was lower in Penghu. Unexpectedly, tinea nigra was not rare in Penghu.
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