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May 2017

Lamellar Ichthyosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Social Stigmatization and Therapeutic Difficulties

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Treichville, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, CHU Treichville, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(5):476-477. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.5792

Ichthyoses are a heterogeneous group of monogenic diseases of keratinization characterized clinically by the presence of scales on the surface of the skin.1 The clinical manifestations of lamellar ichthyosis may complicate the medical and psychosocial care of the patient.2 In sub-Saharan Africa, this chronic condition occurring in children causes concern about their social inclusion because of beliefs related to the clinical appearance. These children are often called “snake children.” We report 3 cases of pediatric lamellar ichthyosis in sub-Saharan Africa involving difficulties in school and social integration.

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