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Article
April 1963

Skin Diseases in South Africa

Author Affiliations

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Stellenbosch.

Arch Dermatol. 1963;87(4):419-427. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590160011003
Abstract

The main factors that influence the incidence of skin diseases in South Africa, as in Africa as a whole, are race, climate, nutrition, migration, way of life and occupation, and medication or lack of it.

Race  The chief racial groups1,2 in South Africa are the Bantu (11,000,000) who are Hamiticized Negroes, the whites (3,000,000) who are mainly of Dutch, British, German, and French descent, the Indians (500,000), and the colored people (1,500,000) who are of mixed stock. The remnants of the Bushmen and Hottentots live in South-West Africa.The white people suffer from most of the dermatoses encountered in Europe as well as from diseases peculiar to Africa, and they develop all the photosensitivity diseases oftener and at an earlier age than do their counterparts in Europe. Inbreeding in the early days of white settlement has led to the propagation of some inheritable diseases of which familial hepatic porphyria

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