Selected Skin Diseases With Systemic Involvement

Marcelo Ruiz, MD; Pilar Valdés, MD; Kenneth Tomecki, MD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2013;18(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The skin is often a window to systemic disease that is available to the trained eye of the dermatologist. Herein, we focus on four dermatoses with associated systemic conditions of interest: scleromyxedema and monoclonal gammopathy, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in the setting of renal insufficiency, dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac disease, and psoriasis as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Dermatologists can play a crucial role in recognizing the cutaneous manifestations linked with these conditions. Identifying the related underlying disorder will contribute to appropriate diagnosis and improved management.


Dermatologists can play an integral role in the diagnosis and management of an array of systemic diseases that manifest in skin symptoms. Recent advances in elucidating pathogenic mechanisms and described associations hold the potential for early identification and treatment, thereby possibly modifying the disease course. A detailed discussion covering the spectrum of skin conditions with underlying systemic dysfunction is beyond the scope of this review, instead a look at the hematologic, renal, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems is undertaken, with a focus on four skin disorders with systemic involvement.