Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-73

Photodermatoses in the Nigerian albino: A study in an urban hospital in southern Nigeria

Department of Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Madubuko C Roli
Department of Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_30_17

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Introduction: The tropical sunshine is deleterious to the albino skin predisposing their melanin deficient skin to lentigenes, dermatoheliosis, actinic keratosis, and skin cancers. Many of them die in the early adulthood or middle age from cutaneous malignancy. We determined the prevalence and types of photodermatoses and their relationship with sun protective methods in people living with albinism in Benin City, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that involved 73 albinos and 73 age and sex-matched controls. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and relevant information on sociodemographics, history of dermatological problems, and use of sun protection methods were obtained. Diagnosis of photodermatoses was made on clinical grounds, and dermatoscopic evaluation and skin biopsy punches were utilized where applicable to boost diagnostic accuracy. Results: The mean ages for the albino population and their controls were 24 ± 11 years and 24 ± 11 years, respectively (P = 0.994). The male:female ratio of both groups was 1:1.3 The prevalence of photodermatoses in the albino population vs. control was 57 (78.1%) vs. 7 (9.6%) (P≥0.001). The observed photodermatoses in albino population were solar lentigenes 46 (63.0%), photoaging 33 (45.2%), actinic keratosis 22 (28.6%), sun burn 12 (16.3%), and skin cancers 9 (12.3%). Photodermatoses in the albinos, occurred more frequently in those who did not use sun screens and this finding was statistically significant for solar lentigenes (P = 0.038). The spectrum of photodermatoses seen in the controls included exogenous ochronosis 6 (8.2%) and polymorphic light eruptions 1 (1.4%). Conclusion: Photodermatoses are highly prevalent in albinos. The common types were solar lentigenes, photoaging, and actinic keratosis. Photodermatoses are more common in albinos, who do not use sun protection.

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