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Cultural practices affecting the skin of children

Ravanfar, Parisa; Dinulos, James G

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32833bc352
Dermatology: Edited by James Dinulos

Purpose of review Cultural practices that present with dermatologic manifestations in the pediatric population are common. However, such skin manifestations are often poorly understood in western medicine and lesions are misdiagnosed, with child abuse being a common misdiagnosis.

Recent findings The 2000 Census counted approximately 28 million first-generation immigrants in the United States. As populations are increasing in diversity, there are an increasing number of physical presentations from diverse cultural practices. Physicians will begin to encounter skin findings that they may have never seen before. It is, therefore, imperative for physicians to be aware of such cultural practices and the cutaneous findings associated with them.

Summary Numerous cultural practices may present with skin manifestations in children. It is, therefore, important for pediatricians to be aware of such practices and their associated skin lesions for proper diagnosis and management. Various cultural practices with cutaneous findings will be covered in this article.

Section of Dermatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA

Correspondence to Dr Parisa Ravanfar, Section of Dermatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Dr, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA Tel: +1 603 653 9400; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.