BACKGROUND: Skin lesions are often noted by the individuals bearing them, as well as by their relatives. There is a significant number of patients with skin complaints who search for medical care. OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency of dermatological complaints and/or findings in users of the primary health care system of the city of Campinas, Brazil. METHODS: Five units were chosen by the Municipal Health Department to participate in this research. All the patients assisted by health professionals of these units were evaluated regarding the presence or absence of dermatological symptoms/ signals in a time period of twenty working days. RESULTS: The acquired data demonstrated that 358 (24.01%) out of 1,491 assisted patients displayed dermatological complaints and/or findings, with a greater prevalence among the younger patients. Of all the users assisted by health professionals who participated in the study and had their records adequately filled out, 9.98% sought the primary care unit primarily because of a dermatological complaint. CONCLUSIONS: These results, in accordance to those of similar surveys carried out in other countries, show the importance of the specialty for the performance of non-dermatologist physicians, pediatricians in particular, and provide elements for the discussion surrounding the curricular reform, concerning the amount of time dedicated to the teaching of dermatology.
Primary health care; Dermatology; Prevalence; Teaching