Introduction: skin diseases constitute a major health problem affecting a large proportion of the population including children causing distress and disability. This study aimed to document the spectrum and frequency of skin diseases of children who attended the dermatology outpatient clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: a cross-sectional study of children (18 years old and below) who attended the dermatology clinic between January 2004 and December 2016. Data obtained from the medical records of the patients included age, gender, clinical features, laboratory features and diagnosis. Skin diseases were classified into various groups.
Results: there were 6373 children included in the study with a male to female ratio of 1:1.13. The most common disease categories were infections 1795 (26.1%), Eczematous conditions 1711 (24.9%), Infestations 936 (13.6%), papulosquamous disorders 547 (8.0%) and bullous disorders 254 (3.7%). With respect to individual skin diseases, atopic dermatitis (AD) 1042 (15.1%) was the most common skin condition followed by papular urticaria 705 (10.2%) and tinea capitis 554 (8.1%). Infections were most common among infants and adolescents. Acneiform eruptions were common among adolescents while eczematous disorders were most common among children less than 5 years.
Conclusion: the study highlights the common dermatoses seen in children in a specialized dermatology clinic in a developing country such as Nigeria. Most of the skin diseases observed can be controlled by proper environmental sanitation, adequate nutrition, preventing overcrowding, and promoting good health-seeking behavior among parents and caregivers. Information obtained from the study may guide training in dermatology especially among pediatricians.