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Diagnosis and treatment of dermatologic diseases in inflammatory bowel disease

Brenner, Erica J.a; Long, Millie D.b

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: July 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 330–336
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000538

Purpose of review Dermatologic manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly recognized as related disorders, secondary to specific therapies used to treat IBD, or complications of IBD itself. These dermatologic manifestations can be difficult to manage.

Recent findings We summarize three categories of dermatologic manifestations in this review: extraintestinal cutaneous disorders, paradoxical manifestations to biologic therapies, and other drug-induced cutaneous manifestations. In particular, we provide current data surrounding clinical characteristics, epidemiology, and treatment modalities for individual cutaneous manifestations.

Summary Many extraintestinal cutaneous manifestations can be managed by optimized treatment of IBD itself, as shared treatment pathways exist. Paradoxical reactions to biologic agents may be driven by the individual biologic therapy. In these instances, if topical therapies or immunomodulators are not effective in treating the paradoxical cutaneous reaction, a change of class may be required. Nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers have been linked to specific therapies for IBD (including thiopurines and antitumor necrosis factor alpha agents, respectively). Therefore, optimizing preventive efforts towards skin cancer is warranted. Recognition of these cutaneous disorders by the practicing gastroenterologist is important, as is collaboration with dermatology for management of many cutaneous disorders.

aDivision of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Pediatrics

bDivision of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Millie D. Long, MD, MPH, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #7080, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7080, USA. E-mail:

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