Skin Eruption in Taiwanese Immigrant

March 7, 2013

A 44-year-old nonsmoking immigrant from Taiwan sought help from a dermatologist for this longstanding skin eruption, lately complicated by weight loss and fatigue.

Several years ago, a 44-year-old nonsmoking Taiwanese immigrant to the United States sought medical attention for the skin eruption depicted. This disorder had been present since he was 25; it was mildly pruritic, and involved the scalp, elbows, knees, and dorsal hands (16% of body surface area). He had also noted abnormal fingernails, with onycholysis and pitting having been present for about 5 years.

The rest of the physical examination was unremarkable except for mild hypertension (158/92 mm Hg). Pertinent findings from a recent comprehensive laboratory panel included new findings of fasting hyperglycemia and an elevated hemoglobin A1c. He now presents to the dermatologist for a routine semi-annual follow-up visit, his rash well controlled using topical corticosteroids and intermittent narrow-band UVB phototherapy. As incidental complaints, he notes an involuntary 35-pound weight loss and increasing fatigue.

 

What do you think is causing this pruritic rash?

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