Viral skin infections (VSIs) were ranked among the top 50 prevalent diseases in 2010. The objective of this study was to determine the epidemiologic features of VSIs in patients attending a dermatology clinic in Egypt from June 2010 to May 2011. Patient’s residence, occupation, housing data, and family history of similar conditions were recorded. Categorical data were recorded as frequencies
and percentages and were compared by Chi square test. P value < 0.05 was significant. Diagnosis of VSIs was made in 1000/20322
(4.9%) patients. Out of the 1000 patients with VSIs, 580 (58.0%) were residents of rural areas and 420 (42.0%) were residents of urban
areas (p = 0.02). Out of the 1000 patients, 489 (48.9%) were females and 511 (51.1%) were males (p = 0.25). The breakdown of 1000 patients with VSIs indicated diagnosis of viral warts in 673 (67.3%), chickenpox (CP) in 200 (20.0%), herpes simplex (HS) facialis in
50 (5.0%), herpes zoster (HZ) in 42 (4.2%), molluscum contagiosum (MC) in 27 (2.7%.0), and anogenital warts in 8 (0.8%) cases. Overcrowding (sharing a bedroom by more than 3 persons) was recorded in 652/1000 (65.2%) of the patients with VSIs [165/200 (82.5.3%) in CP, 36/50 (72%) in HS facials, 427/673 (63.4%) in viral warts, 14/27 (51.9%) in MC, and 10/42 (23.8%) in HZ]. Family history of a similar condition was positive in 329/1000 (32.9%) of the patients with VSIs [142/200 (71.0%) in CP, 177/673 (26.3%) in viral warts, 5/27 (18.5%) in MC, and 4/50 (8%) in HS facialis]. In conclusion, viral warts and CP were the commonest VSIs diagnosed in patients who attended a dermatology clinic in Egypt. Viral skin infections were more prevalent among patients who lived in rural areas and under crowded conditions. These data may have important public health implications particularly in developing countries.