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Talks on skin diseases & untouchability

Talks on skin diseases & untouchability

Kolkata: In a bid to change the attitude of people to towards the taboo associated with skin diseases and obliterate the social stigma associated with it, the Indian Society for Pediatric Dermatology organised a seminar titled Skin Diseases and Untouchability Stigma at Rotary Sadan on Saturday.

"Skin disease not only has a huge psycho-social stigma but it also has many myths associate with it. There is no scientific reason behind it," said Dr Sandipan Dhar, president of Indian Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

According to the statistics, four crore people in India suffer from Vitiligo (white patch on skin). About 4.5 crore people suffer from Psoriasis (a chronic inflammatory skin disease).

The study, published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, showed that skin diseases are more prevalent than thought earlier, but many affected people do not consult a physician. More than 70 per cent elderly men were found suffering from skin diseases, which is more than women (58 percent).

"Vitiligo does not have any harmful effect on a person and is non-contagious in nature yet it creates a social stigma," pointed out Dhar.

Dr Jaydeep Choudhury, Professor of Pediatrics, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, said : "Risk groups for severe influenza include children aged below five years age, pregnant women, elderly people and individuals with underlying health conditions such as asthma, or chronic heart or lung diseases, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Secondary bacterial pneumonia is a frequent complication of influenza, particularly in risk groups. The annual attack rate of influenza is estimated at 5 to 10 percent in adults and 20 to 30 percent in children."

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