Spectrum of skin diseases in Amerindian villages of the Upper Oyapock, French Guiana.
BACKGROUND: Due to their genetic characteristics, their isolation in rainforest areas, and their traditional way of life, Amerindian populations are likely to suffer from a specific spectrum of dermatoses. However, there are few available data on such skin disorders. Our aims were to describe all skin disorders in two Amerindian villages of French Guiana.
METHODS: This retrospective study concerned all patients who consulted in the Health Centres of Camopi and Trois-Sauts between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018. We included all patients classified with an ICD code linked to a skin disorder. All medical records were cross-checked by two dermatologists to correct misclassifications.
RESULTS: A total of 639 patients formed the study population, for 866 different skin disorders. Non-sexually transmitted infections represented 57.6% of all skin disorders, followed by eczema (11.5%) and bites/envenomations (9.1%). Bacteria were responsible for 238 skin infections, followed by fungi (141 cases) and parasites (69 cases, including 43 scabies, nine cutaneous leishmaniasis, and two tungiasis). We reported a low prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (10 cases) and an absence of skin cancers.
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the absence of skin cancer in the Amerindian population of the Upper Oyapock and the important burden of infectious and animal-related diseases. Future studies should assess a possible underestimation of sexually transmitted diseases in this area. Public health policies should target neglected diseases such as cutaneous leishmaniasis, tungiasis, scabies, and envenomations. Atopic dermatitis was a significant and unexpected cause of consultations.