Indian Journal of Dermatology
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IJD SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-65

High altitude dermatology


Department of Dermatology, Military Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. G K Singh
Military Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.198050

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Approximately, 140 million people worldwide live permanently at high altitudes (HAs) and approximately another 40 million people travel to HA area (HAA) every year for reasons of occupation, sports or recreation. In India, whole of Ladakh region, part of Northwest Kashmir, Northern part of Sikkim and Tenga valley of Arunachal are considered inhabited areas of HAA. The low quantity of oxygen, high exposure of ultraviolet (UV) light, very low humidity, extreme subzero temperature in winter, high wind velocity, make this region difficult for lowlanders as well as for tourists. Acute mountain sickness, HA pulmonary edema, HA cerebral edema, and thromboembolic conditions are known to occur in HA. However, enough knowledge has not been shared on dermatoses peculiar to this region. Xerosis, UV-related skin disorders (tanning, photomelanosis, acute and chronic sunburn, polymorphic light eruption, chronic actinic dermatitis, actinic cheilitis, etc.), cold injuries (frostbite, chilblains, acrocyanosis, erythrocyanosis, etc.) nail changes (koilonychias), airborne contact dermatitis, insect bite reaction, and skin carcinoma (basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and also rarely malignant melanoma) are the dermatoses seen in HAAs. Early diagnosis and knowledge of HA dermatoses may prevent serious consequences of disease and improve the quality of life for the visitors as well as for native of the place.


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