• Vol. 39 No. 12, 904–908
  • 15 December 2010

Epidemiology of Skin Diseases in Renal Transplant Recipients in a Tertiary Hospital



Introduction: There is no published epidemiological data on skin diseases in kidney trans plant recipients in this tropical country, which has multi-ethnic groups with the Chinese as the predominant ethnic group.

Materials and Methods: Skin diseases of 143 renal transplant recipients were studied in a skin clinic of a tertiary institution during annual surveillance visits from June 2006 to March 2009.

Results: Our study showed that except the common drug specific skin manifestations, sebaceous hyperplasia (56.6%), seborrheic keratosis (60.8%), melanocytic naevi (76.9%), skin tags (37.1%) and viral (29.4%) and fungal (20.3%) infections were the most prevalent skin diseases among renal transplant recipients living in Singapore. The prevalence of pre-malignant and malignant tumours was very low (11.2% actinic keratosis, 1.4% Bowen’s disease, 1.4% squamous cell carcinoma, 0.7% basal cell carcinoma, 0.7% keratoacanthoma). Male predominance was seen in sebaceous hyperplasia (72.4% vs 32.1%), actinic keratosis (17.2% vs 1.8%), viral (36.8% vs 19.6%) and fungal (27.6% vs 8.9%) infections. Our study also showed increased prevalence of sebaceous hyperplasia with increased age but its prevalence was significantly higher than that reported in the age matched general population. The prevalence of seborrheic keratosis, actinic keratosis and viral infection correlated positively with post-transplant duration.

Conclusions: Our study provides epidemiological data for the prevalence of skin diseases in renal transplant recipients. It emphasises the importance of dermatologic follow-up for renal transplant patients in order to obtain a diagnosis and manage treatable skin diseases.

Various types of skin lesions are more common in renal transplant recipients compared to the general population, mainly attributable to post-transplant immunosuppression. The well-documented drug-specific skin manifestations include cyclosporine-related hypertrichosis, gingival hypertrophy, steroid-induced acneiform eruption and striae.

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