Acutely ill patients in internal medicine departments want treatment for undiagnosed, symptomatic skin conditions.
Authors: Goeksu Y, Zimmerli LU, Braun RP, Klaghofer R, French LE, Battegay E, Navarini AA
OBJECTIVE: Concomitant skin conditions may be neglected in internal medicine patients due to lack of knowledge or resources. Thus, we investigated the prevalence of undiagnosed skin conditions in this population.
METHODS: 200 patients in a university medical center's internal medicine division were examined clinically for dermatoses and quality of life in a prospective, 2-month, single-center study.
RESULTS: All patients had several dermatological problems (mean per patient: 13; range: 3-25). There was no relationship between the patient's main medical problem and the number or nature of dermatological conditions. Most patients (84%) requested treatment for their skin condition during hospitalization, especially for xerosis (76%), warts (69%), seborrheic eczema (67%) and onychorrhexis (53%) but not for asymptomatic dermatoses. The impairment in skin-related quality of life was mild but significant, with a mean ± SD Dermatology Life Quality Index of 3 ± 4 (p < 0.001), and global quality of life impairment was severe (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Inpatients suffered from many different, mostly age-related, skin conditions that remained undiagnosed. When prompted, however, patients requested treatment, particularly for symptomatic dermatological conditions such as xerosis, revealing an unmet need that needs to be addressed by qualified evaluation and care.
PMID: 23037513 [PubMed - in process]