Dermatology Update 2018 FALL



Dermatology in Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and the fifth-largest country by area with over 208 million people. Brazil has a Public Health Care System with several limitations; thus, low-income patients may face several difficulties to have an appointment and treatment. The challenge to have a proper health care may perpetuate treatable conditions which are prevalent in Brazil, such as the neglected tropical diseases (NTD). Currently, Brazil has the second highest number of leprosy cases with more than 10,000 new diagnoses a year. Brazil along with India and Indonesia host more than 81 per cent of newly diagnosed cases of leprosy worldwide.

One of the main challenges in treating leprosy is the social inequality and poverty which contributes to the perpetuation of risk for leprosy through several pathways including ever food shortage, living with more than four residents per room as well as living with more than five residents in the household have been been acknowledged as socioeconomic risk factors for leprosy. Furthermore, dermatologists practicing in Brazil are expected to diagnose and treat other dermatological NTDs, such as leishmaniasis, scabies and other ectoparasitosis. For example, Tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL), which is widely spread across the Brazilian territory, is an anthropozoonosis transmitted by Phlebotomines, i.e. a subfamily of blood feeding vectors.

Despite the low mortality rates attributed to TL this illness may lead to physical deformities and to psychosocial dysfunction. In addition, there are several barriers towards the prevention of TL. In conclusion, the proper recognition, prevention and management of NTDs remain the main challenges for dermatologists practicing in Brazil. The majority people exhibiting NTDs belong to lower socioeconomic strata and often live in remote, rural areas, as well as in urban slums. In this presentation, I aim to provide a critical view of the peculiarities of dermatological practice and education in Brazil.


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Dr. Myrela Machado

Dr. Myrela Machado

Dermatologist, Brazil