Epidemiological profile of patients presenting to dermatology department of a tertiary care hospital during nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19: a retrospective study from north India

Faizan Younus Shah, Irfan Tasaduq, Yaqzata Bashir, Ifrah Shafat Kitab, Aaqib Aslam Shah, Uzair Khursheed Dar, Reeta Devi, Iffat Hassan


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented lockdown with restrictions on human movement and interaction, imposed throughout the world to contain the spread of the disease. This gave us the unique opportunity to study the pattern of patients presenting to the dermatology out-patient department during this period.

Methods: The study was a retrospective observational study involving the assessment of patient records from 25th March 2020 to 7th June 2020. This period corresponds to the duration of strictly imposed nationwide lockdown which was relaxed with phased resumption from 8th June 2020, termed as unlock 1.

Results: A decrease in the absolute as well as proportional number of patients was seen in majority of the cases with a statistically significant proportional decline being seen in cases of allergic contact dermatitis (p-value =0.007), acne (p value <0.001), male pattern hair loss (p value <0.001) and female pattern hair loss (p value <0.001), verrucae (p value=0.01), seborrheic dermatitis (p value <0.001), ephelids (p value <0.001), melasma (p value<0.001), post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (p value=0.006). However, there were certain disorders whose proportionate representation increased significantly during the lockdown period contrary to prevalent belief. These disorders included urticaria (p value <0.001), herpes zoster (p value <0.001), scabies (p value =0.01), generalized pruritus (p value <0.001) and prurigo (p value <0.001).

Conclusions: Disorders like acne, male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss, verrucae, seborrheic dermatitis, ephelids, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which do not cause significant morbidity showed a significant decrease in proportional representation. The proportionate representation of disorders like urticaria, herpes zoster, scabies, generalized pruritus and prurigo increased significantly during the lockdown period.


Coronavirus, COVID, Dermatology, India, Lockdown, Skin disorders, Stress

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