Skin disease in the first two years of life in Aboriginal children in East Arnhem Land

Erin McMeniman, Libby Holden, Therese Kearns, Danielle Clucas, Jonathan Carapetis, Bart Currie, Christine Connors, Ross Andrews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: The most common skin infections affecting children in remote Aboriginal communities are scabies and impetigo. Group A streptococcal skin infections are linked to the high rates of heart and renal disease occurring in Aboriginal Australians.

    Methods: A retrospective review of medical records was conducted in a primary health care centre in the East Arnhem region of the Northern Territory. Data was collected from all presentations to the clinic in the first 2 years of life for 99 children born between 2001 and 2005 as a component of the East Arnhem Regional Healthy Skin Project.

    Results: The median number of presentations to the clinic in the first 2 years of life was 32. Skin disease was recorded in 22% of all presentations. By 1 year of age 82% of children had presented to the clinic with their first episode of impetigo and 68% with their first episode of scabies. Antibiotics were administered to 49% of children with impetigo.

    Conclusion: Skin infections are a major reason for presentation to primary health clinics and contribute to the high disease burden experienced by children in the first 2 years of life. This high frequency of presentation provides multiple opportunities for intervention and monitoring.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-273
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Dermatology
    Volume52
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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