Dermatological signs in Wilson's disease

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Because no data on skin and mucosal findings of patients with Wilson's disease have been published so far, the aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of mucosal and skin findings in childhood Wilson's disease and to determine its specific dermatological findings, if any exist.


Thirty-seven 4-17-year-old children with Wilson's disease were included. A complete skin, scalp skin, mucous membrane and nail examination was performed.


Of the children, 26 (70.3%) had at least one dermatological finding. Twenty-five (67.6%), five (13.5%), nine (24.3%) had at least one skin, mucosal and nail finding, respectively. The most prevalent dermatological diagnosis of the Wilson's disease patients was xerosis (45.7%). The presence of dermatological findings was not related to drug usage, severity of the disease, or malnutrition. The duration of the disease was not different in patients with or without dermatological findings. The frequency of skin findings alone, however, was high in relatively newly diagnosed patients (<2 years).


Dermatologist should be aware of the various dermatological manifestations of Wilson's disease, because a careful and objective skin, mucosa, nail and hair examination may be indicative of a diagnosis of Wilson's disease, particularly in early cases.

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