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Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Mar;20(3):542-8.

Dermatoses associated with travel to tropical countries: a prospective study of the diagnosis and management of 269 patients presenting to a tropical disease unit.

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Département des Maladies Infectieuses, Parasitaires, Tropicales et Santé Publique, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The full spectrum of skin diseases related to travel in tropical areas is unknown. We prospectively studied 269 consecutive patients with travel-associated dermatosis who presented to our tropical disease unit in Paris during a 2-year period. The median age of these patients was 30 years; 137 patients were male; 76% of the patients were tourists; 38% had visited sub-Saharan Africa; and 85% had been appropriately vaccinated against tetanus. Cutaneous lesions appeared while the patient was still abroad in 61% of cases and after the patient's return to France in 39%. The diagnosis was definite in 260 cases; 137 of these cases (53%) involved an imported tropical disease. The most common diagnoses were cutaneous larva migrans (25%); pyodermas (18%); pruritic arthropod-reactive dermatitis (10%); myiasis (9%); tungiasis (6%); urticaria (5%); fever and rash (4%); and cutaneous leishmaniasis (3%). Hospitalization was necessary in 27 cases (10%), with a median duration of 5 days (range, 2-21 days). Travelers should be advised on how to avoid exposure to the agents and vectors of infectious dermatoses. Travel first-aid kits should include insect repellents and antibiotics effective against bacterial skin infections.

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