Cutaneous manifestations of chronic alcoholism in cases attending rural tertiary care center: a descriptive cross-sectional study

P. Vidya Sagar, C. Vijay Bhasker Reddy, Pisati Navaneetha Reddy


Background: Alcoholism is a potentially fatal condition damages skin directly or through organ dysfunction. Studies suggested that dermatological manifestations have also been found to be a marker of alcohol misuse. The aim of the study was to assess the various cutaneous manifestations of alcohol dependence.

Methods: This study consisted of 205 cases diagnosed with alcohol dependency attending dermatology department and psychiatry wards, above 18 years of age. A detailed clinical examination and dermatological examination including hair, nails, oral and genital mucosa was performed. Alcoholic liver disease was diagnosed on clinical findings, abdominal sonogram and LFT.

Results: Among the study cases 50.25% cases had alcoholic liver disease. The severity of alcohol dependence score ranged from 1-60 with Ameena score of 24.68. It was seen that 45.23% (90) of alcoholics were mildly dependent, 41.7% (83) of alcoholics were moderately dependent, and 13.07% (26) were severely dependent on alcohol. Seborrheic dermatitis, urticaria, hyperhidrosis was among the commonly encountered dermatoses.

Conclusions: Cutaneous manifestations are a significant pointer to underlying, perhaps undetected problem of alcohol dependency and an awareness of these signs is imperative to alter a dermatologist to problems of alcohol abuse even in a busy clinic.


Alcoholism, Cutaneous manifestations, Frequency

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