NYMC Faculty Publications

Dermatological Trends in Emergency Medicine

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Faculty, Resident/Fellow

Journal Title

The Journal of Dermatological Treatment

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BACKGROUND: Trends in emergency department (ED) visits with a primary dermatologic diagnosis are not well characterized. OBJECTIVE: The goal is to determine how the number of ED visits attributable to dermatologic disease is changing and to characterize the type of dermatologic conditions seen. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: Emergency Department Summary Tables 2008-2017. Data were compiled into tables on the amount and type of dermatologic ED visits. RESULTS: The percentage of dermatologic visits ranged from an estimated 3.5% to 4.3%, peaking in 2014. Cellulitis was the most common diagnosis and accounted for an estimated 1.3% of all visits in 2016, and an estimated 1.2% of visits in 2017. The second most common diagnosis was cutaneous abscess, which accounted for an estimated 0.8% in 2016 and 0.9% in 2017. CONCLUSION: The number of ED visits attributed to disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue has not followed a general trend of increase or decrease. The most common diagnoses are infections. We can best serve these patients by emphasizing the importance of ED provider education on the management of cutaneous infections and by working to increase the accessibility of dermatologic care.