We sought to determine the prevalence of skin diseases in Iraq. Most such studies performed in Iraq have been hospital based. One community based study was performed in the southern area of Iraq but involved only an urban population. Our study was carried out in two Iraqi governorates, Tikrit and Kirkuk, and involved 1545 randomly selected households, 829 from urban areas and 716 from rural areas. The total sample size was 8000 individuals representing a wide range of ages, 3735 (47%) males and 4268 (53%) females.
The overall prevalence of skin diseases was 27%. The rate was similar in males (27%) and females (27%), and in rural (28%) compared with urban (26%) areas. Dermatitis was the most common disease category (33%) in the community based population, and skin infections (32%) in the hospital based group. Community and hospital based studies demonstrate that skin diseases represent a major public health problem which may confer significant personal and financial burdens on Iraq.