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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2006 Jun;52(6):34-6, 38, 40 passim.

An overview of dermatological conditions commonly associated with the obese patient.

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St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, 2213 Cherry Street, Toledo, OH 43608, USA.


Obesity is a chronic disease that may lead to skin problems, including acanthosis nigricans, skin tags, hyperandrogenism, striae distensae, plantar hyperkeratosis, and candidal intertrigo. Although some conditions (eg, skin tags and striae distensae) may simply be annoying or present cosmetic issues, conditions such as acanthosis nigricans and hyperandrogenism may be indicative of systemic diseases. Obesity also may contribute to poor healing of acute and chronic wounds that develop in this population. Some of the most common obesity-related skin disorders and factors affecting wound healing are described with suggestions on how to address these issues. With the continuing increase in the incidence of obesity, investigation into the specific care needs of this population is needed. In clinical practice, measures to reduce friction and shear and improve devices to move the obese patient would enhance care provision. Studies of the incidence of dermatological problems and the best treatments for these conditions are warranted.

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