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Int J Dermatol. 2012 Feb;51(2):173-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.04948.x.

Skin diseases in Greek and immigrant children in Athens.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Athens Medical School, Andreas Sygros Hospital, Athens, Greece.



This study aimed to characterize the spectrum of skin diseases affecting children in Greece.


We retrospectively studied data for 4071 children, aged 0-12 years, who were examined and diagnosed with dermatoses at the outpatient clinic of a university dermatological hospital between December 2005 and August 2007. To evaluate changes in disease patterns, these data were compared with data for a cohort of 12,700 children diagnosed with skin diseases at the same clinic two to three decades earlier (in 1977, 1980, and 1983).


The most frequent disease was dermatitis/eczema (34.7%), with atopic dermatitis found in 20.7% of children, contact dermatitis in 6.9%, pityriasis alba in 2.1%, and seborrheic dermatitis in 1.8%. Infections (19.3%), nevi (5.6%), scabies (4.8%), and insect bites (4.3%) followed. More viral (12%) than bacterial (3.7%) and fungal (3.6%) infections were noted. Warts constituted 53.2% of viral infections. Immigrants had an increased risk for bacterial infections and scabies.


Children diagnosed with skin diseases 24-30 years earlier were younger; exhibited lower prevalences of dermatitis/eczema (P = 0.01), viral infections (P < 0.001) and nevi (P < 0.001); higher prevalences of bacterial and fungal infections (P < 0.001) and insect bites (P < 0.01); and similar rates of scabies (P = 0.17). This study documents the high prevalence of atopic dermatitis in the region, the increasing incidence of viral infections and nevi, and the continuing problem of scabies, especially in immigrants.

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