New Healthy Skin Guideline Promotes Disease Protection

Australia’s first healthy skin guideline will promote and support protection against the precursors of chronic diseases, particularly among Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people at greater risk of infectious skin conditions.

Page last updated: 02 May 2018

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2 May 2018

Australia’s first healthy skin guideline will promote and support protection against the precursors of chronic diseases, particularly among Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people at greater risk of infectious skin conditions.

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM launched the first edition of the National Healthy Skin Guideline: For the Prevention, Treatment and Public Health Control of Impetigo, Scabies, Crusted Scabies and Tinea for Indigenous Populations and Communities in Australia at the Science on the Swan Conference in Perth today.

“Research shows hospitalisation rates for skin infections in Aboriginal children are on average 15 times higher than those of non-Aboriginal children, with nearly half of all children living in remote communities having a skin infection at any one time,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Used in close collaboration with local families and communities, this new guideline will help combat common infections that can lead to cause serious, life-threatening illnesses.

“For example, repeated childhood skin infections can lead to kidney disease, as well as rheumatic heart disease, which claims the lives of around 100 mainly young people each year.”

The inaugural National Healthy Skin Guideline is designed to help health care providers easily diagnose, treat and prevent skin infections, especially in First Nations communities.

Led by Dr Asha Bowen, paediatric specialist and head of skin health at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in the Telethon Kids Institute, the guideline took three years to develop, in collaboration with leading skin researchers and clinicians.

The guideline is available online at https://infectiousdiseases.telethonkids.org.au/our-research/skin-guidelines

Media contact: Nick Way, media adviser 0419 835 449

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