Cutaneous manifestations of sickle cell disease: an updated review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Archives of dermatological research




Cutaneous manifestations; Sickle cell disease; Sickle cell ulcers


Sickle cell disease is a common and highly morbid genetic condition that is characterized by multi-system involvement, including numerous cutaneous manifestations. Persistent and recurrent leg ulceration has long been considered the dermatological hallmark of those with sickle cell disease, but there have been recent descriptions of associated infection with rare pathogens and episodes of liverdoid vasculopathy. Growing considerations for this population in the literature include cutaneous reactions to common treatments such as hydroxyurea and clinical management of the intersection between sickle cell disease and conditions like plaque psoriasis. Recent studies have also demonstrated an increased resistance to skin carcinogenesis for those with sickle cell disease through unclear mechanisms. However, though the body of knowledge regarding cutaneous manifestations and considerations of sickle cell disease is slowly expanding, it does not match the considerable disease and symptom burden faced by these patients. More research is needed to better delineate our understanding of these cutaneous manifestations of sickle cell disease to improve outcomes and further management.


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