Cutaneous manifestations of chronic alcoholism: a cross sectional study in a tertiary care centre in South India

Kumara Lakshmanan Sengotuven, Rangaraj Murugaiyan, Karthikeyan Kaliaperumal


Background: Alcoholism is a chronic fatal disease of worldwide concern. Alcohol abuse can present in a variety of ways, and dermatological disease is emerging as an important marker of alcohol misuse. The aim is to find out the various skin manifestations associated in chronic alcoholics, to find out the most common skin manifestations among chronic alcoholics and to identify the early skin changes in chronic alcoholics.

Methods: A cross sectional study conducted in patients attending medicine, psychiatry and dermatology clinics at a tertiary care centre, Puducherry. Inclusion criteria were patients with history of chronic alcoholism, aged above 18 years. After obtaining history, cutaneous examination was done including skin, mucosa, hairs, and nails. Alcohol dependency pattern was calculated using short alcohol dependency score (SADD).

Results: A total of 130 patients were included. All were male and 59.2% of them belonged to high dependency pattern. About 128 of them had dermatological manifestations pityriasis versicolor was the most common dermatoses followed by psoriasis. Alcohol specific dermatoses were not seen in our study.

Conclusions: In our study, 98.4% of alcoholics had skin manifestations, of which cutaneous infections were the most common. 


Alcohol, Skin manifestations, Pityriasis versicolor, Psoriasis

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