87% of children will suffer from a skin disease and in both adults and children five skin conditions amount to 80% of skin problems (World Heath Organization brochure on Neglected Tropical Diseases Brochure: section 2.10)

This study goes further into this. Through dermatologists and medical officers trained in dermatology, belonging to the Tanzanian Society of Dermatovenereology (TASOD), an online questionnaire was filled. Over 7500 questionnaire reports were received in 2 months !

Gender as well as “adult or children” were separated.




43% were children and 57% adults

41% male and 51% female

3000 questionnaires had a diagnosis



Diagnostic Top 10 in children:

  • -Atopic Dermatitis 46%
  • -Tinea Capitis 16%
  • -Scabies 15%
  • -Pityriasis Versicolor 6%
  • -Papular Urticaria 5%
  • -Impetigo 3%
  • -Miliaria 3%
  • -Vitiligo 2%
  • -Xeroderma Pigmentosum 2%
  • -Acne vulgaris 2%

Infections (Fungal, bacterial, scabies) and insect bites (papular urticaria) amount to more than 90% of skin conditions.



Diagnostic Top 10 in adults:

  • -Atopic Dermatitis 39%
  • -Scabies 12%
  • -Pityriasis Versicolor 12%
  • -Tinea capitis 9%
  • -Acne Vulgaris 7%
  • -Tinea Pedis 7%
  • -Impetigo 5%
  • -Papular Urticaria 3%
  • -Vitiligo 3%
  • -Urticaria 3%

Infections (Fungal, bacterial, scabies) and insect bites (papular urticaria) amount to more than 85% of skin conditions.

The top 10 diagnosis made up 1796 patients in adults.




Diagnosis were not always uniform.

The cases are referred cases where the actual prevalence might be different.

The data given does not impact on the absolute frequency, but rather on the relative distribution.




The frequency of skin conditions is somewhat even higher than in the WHO brochure on NTDs.

It is interesting that the frequency of these manageable conditions is so high, especially because they are referred cases. In practice it will be interesting to see if these cases can be managed at a prespecialist level, and to leave the dermatologists do what they love….that is giving complex differential diagnosis that are apocryphal to all other doctors, let alone other Healthcare providers and carers…and the patients themselves !



About the Tanzanian Society of Dermatovenereology (TASOD)

It represents dermatology and the dermatologists of Tanzania and was registered end of 2017. For the moment it has observership status at the International League of Dermatological Societies (at the time of publication Jan 2020).

Presentation by Doctor Rune Philemon, RDTC 25th Annual CME Moshi, Tanzania

Skin conditions picture on cover: Courtesy of Professor Alexander Navarini