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Disaster Related Skin Diseases

(The following is part of the presentation of Dr. Ma. Angela Lavadia, EAMC  on Calamity Dermatoses at the 38th Philippine Dermatological Society Annual Convention held last Nov. 4 – 6, 2015 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City.)

The recorded increase in skin diseases and disorders that are disaster and calamity related have been noted, especially in the Philippines.

The Philippines, being listed as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world as per the number of typhoons and storms that transits the area (20 on an annual average) and being geographically located along the Pacific Ring of Fire (Seismically and volcanically active)also has a high number of incidence in disaster caused and related skin diseases.

The disasters can also be man-made owing to the continuing communist and Moro insurgencies, these conflicts exact their toll on the health of the communities affected in the low to high intensity conflict.

Skin diseases are reportedly on the increase with regards to the following natural disasters:]

Volcanic eruptions



The incidence of dermatoses in the disaster affected areas showed that the following are the most common:

Dry skin and rashes




Other common skin diseases

Dr. Lavadia recommended that the response by the medical community should be along these policy lines:

1.       Look at the Big Picture
2.       Catch the Vision
3.       Be part of the Environment
4.       Make a Difference


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