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December 1977

Skin Dermatoses in Alcoholics

Author Affiliations

Strasbourg, France

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1734. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120102042

To the Editor.—  In the letter to the editor that appeared in the Archives (112:1326-1327, 1976), Margolis and Roberts gave a short report of the frequency of skin lesions in chronic drinkers.A few years ago, my associates and I undertook a study of the histological features of the skin of 55 alcoholics who had been admitted to the hospital for hepatic failure or for other complications of excessive alcoholic intake, such as polyneuritis or esogastric bleeding.1,2 The lesions we noted are atrophy of the epidermis, increase of the ground substance of collagen in the upper part of the dermis, atrophy of pilosebaceous appendages with abnormal structure of the pilomotor muscles, and some functional troubles of eccrine sweat glands. These lesions correspond to the clinical appearance of the drinker's skin, which is smooth and fatty, with a light vascular pattern simulating silken threads on paper ("swiss stamp skin," "paper

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