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Skin diseases in rural Yucatan, Mexico


  • Funding: None.

  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Amit G. Pandya, md
Department of Dermatology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
5323 Harry Hines Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75390-9190 USA E-mail:


Objectives  There are no known reports of the frequency of skin diseases endemic to rural Yucatan, Mexico. The aim of this study was to report the prevalence of dermatologic conditions in rural villages in that region.

Methods  We conducted a retrospective descriptive study of all cases of skin disease diagnosed by a team of American board-certified dermatologists during consultations in January 2009, August 2009, and June 2010, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Traveling clinics were held in eight different rural locations. Age, sex, and diagnosis, according to history and physical examination, were recorded for each patient.

Results  A total of 1071 cases of skin disease were seen in 858 patients. The frequency of parasitic, viral, and fungal infections was 34.5%. Dermatitis and eczema (24.6%) were the next most prevalent conditions, followed by disorders of skin appendages (12.2%), photosensitivity disorders (5.4%), papulosquamous disorders (3.2%), urticaria and erythema (1.5%), bacterial infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (1.2%), and neoplastic disorders (2.1%). The most frequently seen single diagnoses were viral warts (12.2%), scabies (8.7%), acne (7.4%), dermatophytosis (6.8%), contact dermatitis (3.5%), and nummular eczema (3.5%).

Conclusions  Infectious diseases, acne, and eczemas are the most common skin disorders seen in dermatology clinics in rural Yucatan, Mexico. Our findings may be useful in the development of public health initiatives targeting rural communities in this region.