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May 1995

Dermatology in the Caribbean

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine University of the West Indies Kingston 7, Jamaica

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(5):596-597. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690170098015

THE Caribbean islands extend from Cuba in the north to Trinidad in the south. Languages spoken include Spanish, French, English, and Dutch, depending on which European colonists occupied the various islands over the centuries since Columbus' voyages, and particularly in the last century. Present-day populations are largely racially mixed, with those of African ancestry predominating, but with a significant blend of Indians, Chinese, Caucasians, and Middle Eastern people. There has been considerable intermarriage over the years, resulting in a rich genetic mix and a wide gradation in skin color. The practice of dermatology is made all the more interesting as a result. The climate is tropical all year round with two seasons (rainy and dry), but, in spite of this, the pattern of skin disorders seen is very similar to that seen in Europe and North America, with eczema and acne being by far the most common disorders seen in

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