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Skin Diseases: Need for Attention
Skin diseases (SDs) are a public health problem in many parts of the world, especially in resource poor countries and communities. Some of these skin diseases are part of what are known as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a set of debilitating diseases affecting certain populations in tropical countries. As of 2014, the total world population was 7.2 billion with 6 billion living in less developed countries and 3.384 billion living in rural areas. Skin disorders affect 21–85% of the world’s population (1.26–5.1 billion people) living in low-and middle-income countries. Despite the morbidity and mortality caused by these diseases, the attention given is not proportional to the burden. The burden of skin diseases in low income (LIC) and other low to middle income countries (LMIC) is difficult to estimate owing to poor reporting in some countries. Despite the huge burden of disease, skin diseases have a low mortality rate, and as such they are given less priority compared to other diseases with high mortality. As a result of the low mortality, limited resources are allocated to tackle this public health problem although the burden is enormous. Although most skin diseases are treatable, limited access to treatment and poor diagnosis have allowed for persistence of these diseases in limited-resource communities. Finding ways to manage skin infections and disorders is essential to improve the health and livelihoods of the affected populations. Innovative ways are required to address SDs in vulnerable communities globally.