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  • Atopic dermatitis is one of the most frequent cutaneous diagnoses in Arabian Gulf countries; rosacea is also a common concern.

  • There has been a sharp rise in the incidence of eczema within this region, which is possibly due to environmental factors.

  • A vitamin D deficiency is associated with many dermatologic conditions and is highly prevalent in individuals from the Arabian Gulf.

  • There is a high rate of consanguineous marriages within the Gulf region. These marriages have resulted in an increase of rare genetic disorders throughout the Arab Gulf. However, more research needs to be done on the role of consanguinity on the dermatologic disorders described in this chapter.

  • Melasma has a multifactorial pathogenesis and different modalities of presentation within the Arabian population.

  • Skin-lightening products, some of which are potentially dermatologically damaging, are used extensively by those living in the Arabian Gulf.

  • Psoriasis has a genetic basis, but is also influenced by the climate. It is less common in the tropics and in individuals with darker skin of color.

The Arabian Gulf countries—Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia—make up a part of the Middle East. This southwestern section of Asia is situated just to the east of Africa [Figure 92-1]. In the past, the majority of these populations were nomadic. However, at present, more than 90% of the individuals in this region are settled, due to the rapid economic and urban growth that has occurred in the last 50 years.1

FIGURE 92-1.

Arabic states that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The region is also called the Arabian Gulf. UAE, United Arab Emirates.

The total estimated population living in the Arabian Gulf is 74.8 million,2 with a 75% Arab (Fitzpatrick skin types III and IV) and 25% Afro-Arab (Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI) distribution within the national populations. What is interesting, however, is that a large percentage of the Gulf’s total population is made up of nonnational residents [Table 92-1] who have come to the Gulf for employment and, in some cases, have stayed on for generations.2 Despite the lengthy stays that many of these nonnationals undertake and the fact that some were born in the Gulf and have lived there for their entire lives, very few of them will ever obtain citizenship in a Gulf nation state. These countries have instituted laws that prohibit the majority of nonnationals from ever obtaining citizenship, regardless of the duration of their residency.3

TABLE 92-1Estimated national versus non-national populations in the Arabian Gulf in 2014

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