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Skin signs in eating disorders: a literature review

Abstract

Purpose

To summarize and describe the available knowledge on dermatological manifestation of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified, diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR and 5th edition.

Methods

We searched in PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases from January 1, 1980 through May 1, 2020 for papers in English language on the skin manifestation of eating disorders. Results were screened using the PRISMA tool.

Results

The study yielded 207 results. According with PRISMA guidelines, 26 papers were included in the review. More than 73% of screened papers (19/26) were case reports. Cross-sectional studies represented the 19.2% of screened papers (5/26). Each eligible study has been screened and analyzed.

Conclusion

Huge heterogeneity of skin signs of eating disorders were identified. The number of controlled studies available is very limited, and most papers of interest are case reports or narrative review articles. Larger, more methodologically rigorous studies to evaluate the presence of dermatological issue in eating disorder patients are needed.

Level of evidence

Level IV. Evidence obtained from multiple time series analysis such as case studies.

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Fig. 1

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Samela, T., Sampogna, F., Fabbricatore, M. et al. Skin signs in eating disorders: a literature review. Eat Weight Disord 27, 867–879 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01241-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01241-1

Keywords

  • Dermatology
  • Eating disorders
  • Skin signs
  • Literature review