Background: Current literature addressing dermatologic conditions associated with Down syndrome is limited, with emphasis on rare skin conditions and lack of consensus on the incidence of more common disorders.
Objective: We sought to evaluate dermatologic conditions in patients with Down syndrome diagnosed and managed by dermatologists.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 101 pediatric and adult patients with Down syndrome seen by the University of Massachusetts Dermatology Department between 2008 and 2018.
Results: Folliculitis was the most common diagnosis overall (30.7%), followed by seborrheic dermatitis (26.7%) and hidradenitis suppurativa (22.8%). Eczematous dermatitis, alopecia areata, and xerosis were the most common diagnoses observed in children aged 0 to 12 years; hidradenitis suppurativa, folliculitis, and seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents aged 13-17 years; and folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and xerosis in adults 18 years and older. Other notable diagnoses present overall include onychomycosis (9.9%) and psoriasis (8.9%). Malignant cutaneous tumors were present in two patients, specifically basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma in situ.
Limitations: This was a retrospective, single-institution study.
Conclusion: Dermatologic conditions in patients with Down syndrome vary by age but are most often adnexal and eczematous disorders. Trisomy of chromosome 21 and the resulting downstream effects, specifically on the immune system, may account for these findings.
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