Skin and sepsis: contribution of dermatology to a rapid diagnosis

Link to article at PubMed

Infection. 2021 Apr 15. doi: 10.1007/s15010-021-01608-7. Online ahead of print.


In patients who develop sepsis, whether due to primary, secondary or metastatic lesions, the skin is frequently affected. However, there are unresolved aspects regarding the general clinical manifestations in the skin or the prognosis and/or therapeutic implications. The main challenge in the approach to sepsis is its early diagnosis and management. In this review, we address the sepsis-skin relationship and the potential impact of early dermatological intervention on the septic patient through ten basic questions. We found little evidence of the participation of the dermatologist in sepsis alert programs. There are early skin changes that may alert clinicians on a possible sepsis, such as skin mottling or variations in acral skin temperature. In addition, the skin is an accessible and highly cost-effective tissue for etiological studies of some forms of sepsis (e.g., meningococcal purpura) and its involvement defines the prognosis of certain patients (e.g., infective endocarditis).

PMID:33860474 | DOI:10.1007/s15010-021-01608-7

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