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The spectrum of skin disease among Indian children.

Skin diseases in children are encountered frequently and their characterization is essential for the preparation of academic, research and health plans. A retrospective study was designed to evaluate the epidemiologic features of pediatric dermatoses in India. The setting was a tertiary care referral center in India (Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, New Delhi) during January 1997 to December 2003. A total of 30,078 children less than 12 years of age with 32,341 new dermatoses were recorded, with a male to female ratio of 1.07:1. Most of the disease was seen in the 1- to 5-year age group (44.94%). The most common skin diseases were infections and infestations (47.15%) consisting of bacterial infections (58.09%) and scabies (21.54%), followed by eczemas (26.95%), infantile seborrheic dermatitis, scabies, and pityriasis alba. Other unique dermatoses in our settings were papular uticaria (3.59%), miliaria (5.46%), postinflammatory pigmentary abnormalities (1.68%), and nutritional deficiency dermatoses (0.45%). A majority of patients were diagnosed clinically and special diagnostic tests were conducted in 2.6% of patients. The most common diagnostic test used was KOH mount (59.2%), followed by skin biopsy (39%). Nearly 90% of patients were seen without any referral and in the remaining, a majority were referred by pediatricians (75%). A majority of patients were diagnosed to have infection followed by dermatitis in our setting.

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