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Abstract

Background  We report our experience on the pattern of skin disease in Kaduna, north-central Nigeria over a 6-year period, and compare it with a similar survey conducted in the same area 30 years ago and with surveys from Nigeria and from other parts of Africa.

Methods  The medical records of new patients attending the dermatology outpatient clinics of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital and Habbat Medical Center from March 2000 to December 2005 were retrieved. Demographic data (age and sex) and the diagnoses of skin disease were extracted and analyzed.

Results  A total of 5982 cases was seen. Forty-nine per cent were males and 51% were females. One-third of the patients were aged under 20 years, and three quarters were aged below 40 years. Eczematous dermatitis was the most common skin disorder seen, making up 35% of cases, and had replaced dermatophyte infections and scabies, which were the most dominant skin diseases 30 years previously (now constituting 6% and 1.4% of cases, respectively). Atopic dermatitis had more than doubled in frequency (13.8% vs. 5.2%), and contact dermatitis had tripled in frequency (5.8% vs. 1.8%). Acne vulgaris (6.7%), pigmentary disorders (3.9%), urticaria (3.6%), papular urticaria (3.6%), hair disorders (3.3%), lichen simplex chronicus (3%), viral warts (2.9%), and drug eruptions (2.7%) had also increased. Human immunodeficiency virus-related skin disease constituted 4.3% of cases, with pruritic papular eruption being the most common condition.

Conclusion  These changes in skin disease can be attributed mainly to an increase in urbanization and improved socio-economic conditions.