INTRODUCTION: Dermatophytosis is a common skin infection in children. Although the epidemiology is relatively unknown it is becoming a major health problem in some countries. We determine the incidence and management of dermatophytosis in Dutch general practice in 1987 and 2001.
METHODS: We used data of all children aged 0-17 years derived from two national surveys performed in Dutch general practice in 1987 and 2001 respectively. All diagnoses, prescriptions and referrals were registered over a 12 months period by the participating general practitioners (GPs), 161 and 195 respectively. Data were stratified for socio-demographic characteristics.
RESULTS: Compared to 1987, in 2001 the total reported incidence rate of dermatophytosis in children in general practice increased from 20.8 [95%CI 18.9-22.8] to 24.6 [95%CI 23.5-25.7] per 1,000 person years. Infants (<1 year), girls, children in rural areas and children of non-western immigrants more often consulted the GP for dermatophytosis in 2001. In both surveys GPs treated the majority of children with dermatophytosis with topical drugs, especially with azoles.
CONCLUSIONS: The reported incidence rate of dermatophytosis in children in general practice increased; however it is unclear whether this is a consequence of an increasing prevalence in the population or a changing help seeking behaviour. GPs generally follow the national guideline for the treatment of dermatophytosis in children.