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J Formos Med Assoc. 2000 Feb;99(2):128-34.

Survey of infectious skin diseases and skin infestations among primary school students of Taitung County, eastern Taiwan.

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Department of Dermatology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taitung Branch, Taipei, Taiwan.



There are no complete records on the prevalence of childhood skin diseases in Taiwan. We conducted a survey of infectious skin diseases and skin infestations among primary school children in Taitung County, which is located in southeastern Taiwan.


From March 1998 through October 1998, a total of 3,029 students from four rural districts (Changbin, Yanping, Lanyu, and Dawu) and one urban area (Taitung City of Taitung County) were examined by dermatologists. Treatment and instructions for disease care were given immediately after the diagnosis of dermatoses, when appropriate.


The most common infectious skin diseases and infestations were pediculosis capitis (12.9%), verruca vulgaris (5.1%), tinea versicolor (4.4%), tinea pedis (4.1%), verruca plantaris (1.8%), and scabies (1.4%). Most skin diseases, including pediculosis capitis, scabies, verruca vulgaris, verruca plantaris, folliculitis, pyoderma, tinea pedis, and tinea versicolor, were significantly more common in rural areas than in the urban area (p < 0.05 for all). Pediculosis capitis was more common among girls (p < 0.001), but tinea pedis and tinea versicolor were more common among boys (p < 0.05).


The prevalence of most skin infections and infestations are much higher in rural Taitung County than in Taitung City. Prevention and treatment of these skin diseases should be reemphasized in the education of teachers, as well as students and their families. Adequate dermatologic training of nurses and physicians and the development of teleconsultation and teledermatology in rural areas might decrease the prevalence of these skin diseases in school children.

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