Recent developments in dermatological syndromes in returning travelers

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2008 Oct;21(5):495-9. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32830ce770.


Purpose of review: Dermatoses are one of the three most common healthcare problems in returning travelers. Knowledge of imported dermatoses among Western physicians is however limited. In order to provide more effective pretravel counseling and better posttravel diagnosis and treatment, improvement is called for. This review highlights the most recent developments regarding dermatological syndromes in returning travelers.

Recent findings: The spectrum of travel-related dermatoses is broad, including tropical and cosmopolitan infections as well as environmental skin diseases. New infections such as Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive Staphylococcus aureus infections have begun to emerge in returning travelers. Localized cutaneous leishmaniasis can be managed with multiple drug therapies, but precise identification of the species allows tailored therapeutic management. Clearer definitions of cutaneous larva migrans, a syndrome, and creeping eruption, a cutaneous sign, have been established lately whereas the term hookworm-related cutaneous larva migrans is more widely used to define the corresponding disease. Lastly, chikungunya has emerged as a cause of febrile exanthema among travelers returning from endemic areas and has to be distinguished from dengue and measles.

Summary: Bacterial infections continue to be the main cause of consultation in returning travelers. Most of these infections are cosmopolitan and are secondary to arthropod exposure. Conversely, tropical skin infections are less commonly observed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Dermatitis / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis / microbiology
  • Dermatitis / parasitology
  • Fever / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Syndrome
  • Travel