BACKGROUND: Occurrence of dermatoses are influenced by various environmental factors in the area people live. Jeonbuk province, as well as other parts of Korea, has developed industrially for the past three decades. Until now, no statistical survey on dermatoses in Jeonbuk province has been made. OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence and trend of dermatoses by patients' age and time in Jeonbuk province over last 30 years. METHODS: The survey was conducted via the medical records of 55, 335 patients seen in Chonbuk National University Hospital from 1979 to 2002. RESULTS: The study results are summarized as follows: 1. Among the 55, 335 new patients (male 47.2%, female 52.8%), the 15 most common dermatoses were as follows (in order of frequency): dermatophytosis (7.8%), urticaria (7.7%), acne (5.2%), atopic dermatitis (4.9%), alopecia (4.4%), seborrheic dermatitis (4.3%), herpes zoster (4.0%), other eczema (3.9%), vitiligo (3.8%), psoriasis (2.6%), pruritus (2.5%), benign epidermal tumor (2.4%), verruca (2.2%), allergic contact dermatitis (1.7%), and irritant contact dermatitis (1.5%). These comprise 58.9% of the total outpatients. 2. The incidences of atopic dermatitis, alopecia, vitiligo and benign epidermal tumor had increase d (about 5 times), while dermatophytosis and urticaria had decreased (about 0.64 times) during the period. 3. The most frequent dermatoses during the summer season were dermatophytosis and vitiligo. In winter season, they were acne, atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, pruritus, benign epidermal tumor and verruca. 4. The occurrence of scabies decreased rapidly from the early 90's and remained at a decreased level. Leprosy and tuberculosis had often occurred during the 80's and then became rare from the 90's. 5. The distribution of patients' age was as follows: The 3rd decade (22.0%), 2nd decade (15.8%), 1st decade (15.5%), 4th decade (14.7%), 5th decade (12.0%), 6th decade (10.3%), 7th decade (2.6%), 8th and above (0.4%). 6. Atopic dermatitis was found to be the most frequent dermatosis in the 1st decade. Vitiligo, benign epidermal tumor, and verruca were the most frequent in the 2nd decade, and urticaria, acne, alopecia, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis in the 3rd decade. Herpes zoster and pruritus were the most frequent in the 6th and 7th decade. CONCLUSION: From medical records between 1979 and 2002, we surveyed kinds, prevalence rates and trends of dermatoses in the Jeonbuk Province. During this period we observed changes in the incidence of the dermatoses with years and seasons. We also found that prevalence rates of the dermatoses were influenced by the time, environment and living conditions of the patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first survey on the occurrence of dermatoses Jeonbuk Province of Korea.
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