Nearly 85% of patients hospitalized with other conditions desired treatment for dermatoses, including dry skin and warts, according to findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.
Skin care may become a secondary concern among inpatients in internal medicine who are dealing with more severe health care concerns. In the current 3-month prospective single-center study, researchers examined the prevalence of dermatologic diseases in 200 patients hospitalized at the division of internal medicine for any reason. The aim was to assess global and skin-specific impairment in QOL and whether skin-specific pathology was viewed as a relevant concern by doctors and patients.
Participants were interviewed concerning impairment in QOL as a result of their illness. The SF-12 questionnaire was used to evaluate general QOL and the Dermatology Life Quality Index was used to measure the impact on QOL of dermatoses.
Sixty-four percent of patients reported no skin changes upon physical examination by the internal medicine resident at admission. An average of 13 dermatologic diagnoses (range, 3 to 25) were reported after the dermatologic checkup. These diagnoses were present regardless of the main medical condition, according to the results.
The mean Dermatology Life Quality Index score was 3, indicating a mild QOL impairment. The mean SF-12 sum score was 33, indicating severe QOL impairment.
During hospitalization, 84% of patients desired therapy for their skin condition. Seventy-six percent of patients desired treatment for dry skin; 69% desired treatment for warts; 67% for seborrheic eczema; and 53% for onychorrhexis.
Less than 5% of patients desired therapy for subjectively innocuous skin diseases, including:
- nevi (0%)
- poikiloderma civatte (0%)
- lentigo (2.6%)
- cherry hemangioma (1.5%)
- teleangiectasia (1.8%)
- seborrheic keratosis (4.8%)
“Patients hospitalized in internal medicine for medical conditions are affected with dermatologic conditions that are for the greater part left unrecognized and untreated,” the researchers wrote. “Skin health is a part of well-being, and correspondingly, patients often desire dermatologic therapy, especially for irritating but easily treatable conditions such as dry skin.”
Disclosure: The researchers did not identify any financial support.
For more information:
Goeksu Y. #5298. Prevalence of dermatoses and quality of life impairment in internal medicine inpatients. Presented at: The 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. March 16-20, 2012. San Diego, Calif.