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Esophageal Manifestations of Dermatological Diseases, Diagnosis and Management.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this article is to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect both the skin and the esophagus.

RECENT FINDINGS: The diagnosis of dermatological conditions that affect the esophagus often requires endoscopy and biopsy with some conditions requiring further investigation with serology, immunofluorescence, manometry, or genetic testing. Many conditions that affect the skin and esophagus can be treated successfully with systemic steroids and immunosuppressants including pemphigus, pemphigoid, HIV, esophageal lichen planus, and Crohn's disease. Many conditions are associated with esophageal strictures which are treated with endoscopic dilation. Furthermore, many of the diseases are pre-malignant and require vigilance and surveillance endoscopy.

SUMMARY: Diseases that affect the skin and esophagus can be grouped by their underlying etiology: autoimmune (scleroderma, dermatomyositis, pemphigus, pemphigoid), infectious (herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, human immunodeficiency virus), inflammatory (lichen planus and Crohn's disease), and genetic (epidermolysis bullosa, Cowden syndrome, focal dermal hypoplasia, and tylosis). It is important to consider primary skin conditions that affect the esophagus when patients present with dysphagia of unknown etiology and characteristic skin findings.

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