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INTRODUCTION

KEY POINTS

  • Southeast Asia (SEA) is divided into mainland SEA and maritime SEA; maritime SEA, also known as island SEA or insular SEA, is composed of six regions: East Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, East Timor, Singapore, and Indonesia.

  • Maritime SEA has islands from very large to tiny pinpoints on the map, oceans that are generally shallow with few deep underwater trenches, active volcanoes making them vulnerable to earthquake activities, and a climate that is tropical.

  • Situated in the typhoon belt, on average, around 20 typhoons enter the Philippines a year; the rest of the maritime SEA countries are generally free of hurricanes and typhoons.

  • Cultural diversity is evident, as in mainland SEA; Muslims make up the majority of the Indonesian population, while the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic state.

  • The majority of the population of both Indonesia and the Philippines belongs in the 15- to 64-year age group, and there are more males than females; skin phototype is usually between III and V.

  • The common skin diseases are inflammatory dermatoses, the pigmentary disorder melasma, and diseases due to microbial agents and infestations.

Southeast Asia (SEA) is divided into mainland and maritime SEA. Six states (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, West Malaysia, and Vietnam) compose mainland SEA. Maritime SEA, also known as island SEA or insular SEA, comprises of East Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, East Timor, Singapore, and Indonesia. This chapter focuses on dermatoses commonly seen in maritime SEA.

SEA is a tropical region with similarities in climate as well as plant and animal life. Mainland SEA has long rivers, extensive lowland plains, and long coastlines.1 Maritime SEA has islands that range from very large to tiny pinpoints on the map. Indonesia has 17,508 islands,2 whereas the Philippines has 7107 islands.3 Importantly, the seas of maritime SEA make it unique. The oceans are generally shallow with few deep underwater trenches. Except for the Philippines, the countries of maritime SEA are generally free of hurricanes and typhoons. Many active volcanoes are identified in this part of SEA, making them vulnerable to earthquakes.1

A distinctive feature of SEA is its cultural diversity. Migration into the region has a long history, playing a vital role in the existing cultural beliefs and practices.1 Eighty-six percent of Indonesia’s population are Muslims,2 whereas in Singapore, Thailand, and the southern Philippines, Muslims are a minority.1 The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic state.3

With a population of over a hundred million, 61.3% of Filipinos belong to the 15- to 64-year-old age group, and 34.3% are 0 to 14 years of age; there are more males than females. The Tagalogs are the largest (28.1%) of the 10 major ethnic groups in the country.3 The Negritos were some of the earliest inhabitants, followed by successive waves of Austronesians and Chinese. With the arrival of the Japanese, Indians, Spaniards, Americans, and Europeans, intermarriages were inevitable, producing ...

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