Skin of Aboriginal Children



The indigenous people of Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander), Canada (First Nation, Inuit, and Metis People), USA (American Indians and Alaska Natives), and New Zealand (Māori) are geographically, genetically, and culturally distinct groups. Increased prevalences of many pediatric skin diseases are, however, common to indigenous people across these four countries. Other skin diseases are specific to the country of origin of an indigenous person. This chapter covers skin conditions common to indigenous people of Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada, but focuses particularly on skin diseases affecting Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Apart from genetic factors and skin color, environmental, cultural, nutritional, and socioeconomic factors play important roles in disease pathogenesis and in determining the effectiveness of prescribed therapy. Infections represent the major burden of skin disease and they are often concomitant or atypical. Better awareness of specific risk factors and exposures, of the variations of skin signs resulting from different skin colors, and of cultural sensitivities (in history taking, communication and the implementation of management plans) will enable better clinical care.


Indigenous Rural Ethnic Cultural Australia Pediatric Dermatology Pyoderma Scabies Infection 



The authors are grateful for the generous help of Dr Asha Bowen and Dr Claire Grills who provided clinical photographs and advice, particularly with regards to the management of indigenous skin infections.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash University, Eastern Health Clinical SchoolMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Universty of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics and Murdoch Children’s Research Insitute, Royal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyRoyal Melbourne HospitalParkvilleAustralia

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