Assessment of children and adolescent presenting to the dermatology outpatient clinic in Turkey during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic

North Clin Istanb. 2021 Aug 24;8(4):340-344. doi: 10.14744/nci.2020.90836. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Objective: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. During the partial curfews implemented in the pandemic period, the pediatric patients presenting to the dermatology clinic of our hospital were examined taking the necessary precautions. We aimed to identify children and adolescent cases requiring dermatology services and their urgency when the number of COVID-19 cases was rapidly increasing and partial curfews were being imposed in Turkey.

Methods: The study was conducted with pediatric patients that presented to our hospital dermatology outpatient clinic, a tertiary health care institution between March 11, 2020, and May 29, 2020, and their differences according to age groups and presentation period were evaluated.

Results: The most common reason for a dermatology clinic visit was acneiform diseases (n=103, 33.3%). According to age groups, the most common diagnosis was eczema diseases in both the 0-2 and 3-6 years groups (n=10 [55.6%] and n=11 [47.8%]), respectively), infectious diseases in the 7-12 years group (n=19, 31.10%), and acneiform diseases in the 13-18 years group (n=100, 48.3%). While 144 patients visited the clinic within the first 15 days after the declaration of pandemic, the number of patients presenting in the following month decreased by more than 80% (n=23 for the second 15-day period and n=14 for the third 15-day period). There was a moderate increase in the number of pediatric dermatology patients 45 days after the declaration of pandemic (n=57 for the fourth 15-day period and n=71 for the fifth 15-day period). A correlation was observed between the number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Turkey and the number of pediatric patients presenting to our outpatient clinic.

Conclusion: Considering that non-urgent and follow-up pediatric patients continue to present to dermatology outpatient clinics during the pandemic process, it is necessary to encourage the implementation of patient care methods, such as telemedicine in hospitals as part of the health system.

Keywords: Adolescents; children; coronavirus disease-2019; dermatology.