JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chilblains in Turkey: a case-control study

Z Meltem Akkurt, Derya Ucmak, Kenan Yildiz, Safiye Kutlu Yürüker, Heybet Özkaya Celik
Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia 2014, 89 (1): 44-50
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BACKGROUND: Chilblains are rather common in winter months in our country.

OBJECTIVES: Determination of demographical and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with chilblains in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Evaluation of body mass index (BMI) as risk factor for development of chilblains.

METHODS: Sixty-nine patients who were diagnosed as chilblains at our outpatient clinics were included in this study. No exclusion criteria were sought. Demographical data including height and weight and answers to questions related to personal history were recorded. A control group consisting of 108 controls were chosen from among patients presenting with complaints of hair loss. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS 17.0.

RESULTS: Of the 69 patients with chilblains, 45 (65.2%) were females and 24 (34.8%) were males. Mean age (± SD) of the patients was 21 ± 9. 71.2% of the patients complained of itching, 51.6% of pain, 31.3% of burning in the lesions. 61.3% of the patients reported recurrence of the lesions every winter season. Mean BMI of the patients was 20.5 ± 2.9. Mean BMI of the controls was 22.4 ± 3.7 and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Low BMI may be a risk factor contributing to development of chilblains in persons exposed to cold weather conditions. Apart from external factors, there seems to be a personal tendency to develop lesions, as many patients report recurrences every year. Diagnosis of chilblains requires wariness, as history of cold exposure may not be evident.

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