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Common Skin Conditions in Patients with Cancer

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2017 Dec 19; Phillips, et al

Hematologic malignancies are a significant risk factor for dermatology inpatient consultations, a recent study found. Furthermore, a significantly longer length of stay (LOS) was associated with dermatology consultations, suggesting high comorbidities in these patients. Increased dermatologic care of these inpatients may improve quality of life, dermatologic health, and ability to receive anticancer agents. Researchers evaluated a retrospective database query of new admissions and medical record review of initial inpatient dermatology consultations comparing consulted inpatients with non-consulted inpatients from January-December 2015. They found:

  • In total, 412 of 11,533 inpatients received 471 dermatology consultations (54% male, median age 59.5).
  • Patients with hematologic cancers were 6 times more likely to receive dermatologic consultations compared to non-hematologic cancers.
  • Patients consulted by dermatology had significantly longer LOS (median 11 vs 5 days).
  • Among the 645 dermatologic conditions diagnosed, the most common categories were inflammatory diseases, infections, and drug reactions; the most frequent conditions were contact dermatitis, herpes zoster, and chemotherapy-induced drug eruptions.


Phillips GS, Freites-Martinez A, Hsu M, et al. Inflammatory dermatoses, infections and drug eruptions are the most common skin conditions in hospitalized cancer patients. [Published online ahead of print December 19, 2017]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.12.031.

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