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An overview of ethnic skin disorders in black Africans of Sierra Leone (West Africa)

ARFAN UL BARI
Department of Dermatology, Combined Military Hospital Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan

Abstract

Physical differences among humanpopulations may lead to variable prevalence andpresentation of skin disorders in different ethnicities.Disease pattern in a given ethnic population is generallydetermined by different ecological and socioeconomicfactors. Eighty percent of the world’s population consistsof individuals with pigmented skin. Darker skin differs fromCaucasian skin in its reactivity and disease presentation.Darker skin, if on one hand, is a blessing as it relates to sundamage and aging, on the other hand it can be a cursefor being vulnerable for excess melanin and collagenproduction resulting in wide range of skin disorders. Thisdifferential prevalence of dermatological disorders indifferent ethnic populations points towards some social,cultural and environmental factors in addition to geneticfactors in causation of these disorders. This is a minireviewof various skin disorders along with possibleetiological factors prevalent in black population of SierraLeone; a country located on the west most corner ofAfrica along costal line of Atlantic Ocean. Investigativeand therapeutic aspects of these skin disorders are nottouched as it was beyond scope and needed anotherreview article.