Background Dermatologic complaints are a common reason for presentation
to a general practitioner. In some cases, one needs to determine
if the complaint may be a manifestation of a more serious
underlying systemic disease.
Objective This article aims to highlight common dermatologic
presentations where further assessment is needed to exclude
an underlying systemic disease, to discuss classic cutaneous
features of specific systemic diseases, and to outline rare
cutaneous paraneoplastic syndromes.
Discussion Skin manifestations of systemic disease are wide, varied,
specific and nonspecific. Generalised pruritus and cutaneous
vasculitis are more common cutaneous presentations where
an underlying systemic disease may be present and will
influence management. In certain chronic diseases such as
connective tissue disease and chronic liver disease, there are
characteristic cutaneous findings. Internal malignancies such
as multiple myeloma may present with distinctive cutaneous
findings, which need to be recognised to institute a search for
the underlying neoplasm. The skin has the potential to provide a
window into the patient and aid in the diagnosis of diseases of
all organ systems.
Download the PDF for the full article.
Download article PDF