Food deserts exist due to a multitude of factors ranging from socioeconomic status, racial disparities, geography, cost, and healthful food access. Given the vast biological function of vitamins and minerals, the clinical presentation for nutritional deficiencies ranges from benign to life-threatening. Often, the first indicators of underlying nutritional deficiencies are cutaneous manifestations. The first patient case is a 36-year-old female at 25 weeks gestation with a pruritic and painful rash that began in the genital region and spread centrifugally to her legs. The second patient case is a 42-year-old male with a pruritic rash that began at his abdomen and progressed to his thighs. The third patient case is a 48-year-old female with scattered lower extremity ecchymoses in different healing stages and scattered perifollicular erythema with corkscrew hairs. All three patients were found to have nutritional deficiencies and lived in identified food deserts. Deficiencies of zinc, vitamin A, thiamine, pyridoxine, and vitamin C and their subsequent cutaneous manifestations have scarce documentation within food deserts. These cases provide further insight into nutritional deficiencies and offer an opportunity for providers to identify patients at risk. To promote wellness, patients suffering from food insecurity must be identified efficiently and connected with essential resources.
Published In/Presented At
Canakis, J. P., Swink, S. M., Valle, N. P., Rivers, D. A., Lim, K. M., Oberlender, S., Purcell, S., & Bartus, C. (2022). Cutaneous Manifestations of Nutritional Deficiencies in the Context of Food Deserts of United States. Cureus, 14(9), e29464. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.29464
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty, Department of Medicine Fellows and Residents, Fellows and Residents