Back issues No.3 - 2014 / Original Study  

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Dermatological conditions in patients with brain damage
Joon Lee, Sang-Hyeon Hwang, Ji-Hye Park, Won-Serk Kim
DERMATOLOGICA SINICA 32 (2014) 133-136

As a result of the focus on vital functions in patients with brain damage, dermatological symptoms are often overlooked during their period of admission to hospital. However, patients with brain damage are more likely to have dermatological diseases than the general population and other inpatients for various reasons, including immobilization, treatment with multiple drugs, long-term hospitalization, and their immunocompromised status.

The purposes of this study were: (1) to analyze the frequency and characteristics of dermatological consultations among patients who were admitted to hospital as a result of brain damage; and (2) to compare these findings with other reports about inpatient dermatological consultations.

We analyzed data for 240 patients with brain damage who attended our department of dermatology between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011. The total numbers of male and female patients were 132 (55%) and 108 (45%), respectively (male to female ratio 1.22:1). We retrospectively reviewed medical records, demographic information, reason for dermatological consultation, and the diagnosis of the dermatoses.

The age group most frequently seen was patients in the 7th decade of life and the most common underlying brain injury was traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. The mean±standard deviation score on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was 6.8±3.0. When the levels of brain damage of the patients were classified using the GCS, 68.3% of the patients were in the severe (GCS≤8) category. The most common skin disorders were seborrheic dermatitis (17.9%), followed by mycoses (15.5%), and drug-induced skin eruption (13.2%).

The characteristics of dermatological consultations in patients with brain damage may be different from those of other inpatients attending dermatological clinics. The analysis of dermatological disorders in patients with brain damage can assist in understanding the “brain–skin connection”.

brain damage, coma, inpatient consultations, skin disorders

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