Skin problems due to pulmonary disorders

Do skin problems occur due to pulmonary disease?

You might be wondering if this happens for real or not. The answer is yes, but it does not always happen. 

Read on to the end to clear your confusion. 

Your body organs are in connection with each other. Hence, they combine to form body systems. 


Imagine you got sinusitis. It does not only affect sinuses but includes muscle aches, headaches, fever, etc. 

The same is the case with pulmonary illness. This disease may show signs and symptoms through different body organs.

Moreover, read this research through pulmonologist’s perspective: Diseases with skin and lung involvement.

Now is the time to dig in several lung disorders manifesting skin problems.

1. Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency

It is a genetic disorder. When the production of Alpha-1-antitrypsin reduces; so, it leads to skin, lung, and liver disorders.

Clinical examination of the skin shows:

  • Recurrent ulcerative 
  • Inflammation of subcutaneous fat along with red, painful nodules

2. Skin problems during asthma

Flaky and itchy skin can be a sign of allergic asthma. This skin irritation may convert into eczema.

3. Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome

It is an autosomal-dominant inherited disease. This syndrome is a mixture of disorders such as

  • the cyst
  • the collapse of the lung plus kidney
  • skin tumors. 

4. Skin problems during COPD

One may not experience any skin disorder primarily. But the advancement of COPD leads to inflammation of

  • Ankles and feet
  • Bluish skin color
  • Cyanosis

You can also check: Skin condition and its relationship to systemic inflammation in chronic 

5. Skin problems during cyanosis

When mucous membranes and skin appear to bluish discoloration. Moreover, leading to peripheral cyanosis on fingers or other extremities.

6. Skin problems during Cystic fibrosis

Clinical findings of this disease may differ. Usual signs can include:

  • aquagenic skin wrinkling – edematous whitish plaques on the palms on exposure to water
  • dermatitis – skin irritation 
  • cutaneous vasculitis – inflamed blood vessels in the skin

7. Skin problems during emphysema

A decrease in the elasticity of the skin. Along with bulging of skin can characterize subcutaneous emphysema.

8. Churg-Strauss syndrome

This syndrome is also known as eosinophilic granulomatosis accompanied by polyangiitis.

It occurs rarely. It initially affects the peripheral nervous system, lungs, and skin. Small-vessels vasculitis along with granulomas can be observed upon testing and diagnosis.

9. Fat embolism syndrome

Multiple disorders initiate when fragments or molecules of fat start releasing into circulation. One of the vital cutaneous signs manifests a petechial outbreak with 2–3 mm purpuric macules petechial eruption with 2–3 mm purpuric macules. 

10. Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy

Finger clubbing and inflammation of the connective tissue layer surrounding the bone indicate an issue of skin.

11. Skin problems during Lung cancer

Mostly cutaneous region of the scalp, abdominal wall chest neck metastases start in lung cancer patients. Skin nodules increase fast and are painless yet hard. 

Some other signs are:

  • Acanthosis nigricans – (Hyperpigmentation and thickening of the skin)
  • Erythema gyratum repens – (A rare, paraneoplastic rash)
  • Necrolytic migratory erythema – (Skin disorder characterized by scaly lesions)
  • Tripe palms – (Thick velvety palms)
  • Dermatomyositis – (Muscle inflammation and skin rash)
  • Trousseau syndrome – (Clotting of blood)
  • Acquired ichthyosis – (Dry and rough skin)
  • Acquired hypertrichosis lanuginosa -(Excess of non-pigmented and long fine hair)

12. Skin problems during pneumonia

Disorders of skin while suffering from pneumonia are:

  • Skin rashes
  • Discoloration of skin into blue/purple shade
  • Red patches 

13. Pulmonary arteriovenous aneurysms

Linear blood vessels become visible on the skin. Common sites with broken capillaries are:

  • Face
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Chest
  • Lips 
  • Tongue
  • Oral mucosa
  • Nasal mucosa

14. Sarcoidosis

The formation of small masses (granulomas) characterize sarcoidosis. Furthermore, it can be two classifications of this skin disease:

  • Non–specific lesions of sarcoidosis – (represented by calcinosis cutis, nummular eczema, itchiness, erythema multiforme, and nodosum)
  • Specific lesions –  (represented by lupus pernio, darier–roussy sarcoidosis, scar and tattoo infiltration, macular and plaque sarcoidosis)

You can even read Pulmonary Sarcoidosis by Johns Hopkins Medicine

Experts are researching an uncommon disorder, skin-predominant dermatomyositis.

Developing classification criteria for skin-predominant dermatomyositis: the Delphi process.

Interstitial Lung Disease in Classic and Skin-Predominant Dermatomyositis: A Retrospective Study With Screening Recommendations.


  1. Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy as a clinical manifestation of lung cancer – PubMed (
  2. Dermatologic Manifestations of Pulmonary Disease: Overview, Cyanosis and Clubbing, Lung Cancer, Hypertrophic Osteoarthropathy, and Superior Vena Cava Syndrome (
  3. Skin signs of respiratory disease | DermNet NZ
  4. Sarcoidosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Tests & Life Expectancy (
  5. Diseases with skin and lung involvement: Pulmonologist’s perspective (

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