A systematic analysis in Pediatric Dermatology comprising all relevant research published since 1990 suggests that many indigenous children and young people living in urban areas of high-income countries suffer from atopic dermatitis and bacterial skin infections.
The conditions are intertwined implying that poorly managed atopic dermatitis influences recurrent bacterial skin infections, and secondary atopic dermatitis infection accounts for more severe disease. Both conditions have an adverse impact on general health, overall quality of life and school performance. In fact, untreated bacterial skin conditions can also lead to serious complications such as kidney disease, sepsis, and rheumatic heart disease.
Meanwhile, in the recent analysis, current and serious symptoms of atopic dermatitis were commonly observed in urban-living indigenous children and young people in comparison to their non-indigenous peers, with higher prevalence in children than in adolescent. Indigenous children and young people living in urban areas also had higher incidence of bacterial skin in comparison to their non-indigenous peers.
“Importantly, the research points bacterial skin infections and atopic dermatitis to be health inequities that indigenous children and young people in high-income countries are subject to, reflecting the shared history of devastation and displacement that are secondary to colonization,” stated corresponding author of the study.
There is a need for co-designed study with indigenous communities for better understanding of impact of bacterial skin infections and atopic dermatitis on indigenous children and young people in urban areas, and to help formulate community-wide strategies to prevent and treat these conditions.