Various skin manifestations arise in organ transplant recipients (OTRs) which are mainly attributable to post-transplant immunosuppression. The dermatological complications of immunosuppressive therapy can broadly be divided into drug-specific dermatoses (such as acne), and skin conditions associated with the immunosuppressed state itself, namely infection (e.g. viral warts), and malignancy.
OTRs are at significant increased risk of skin malignancy compared to the general population. Non melanoma skin cancers (NMSC), in particular squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are by far the most common, affecting more than half of organ transplant recipients during their long-term course. NMSCs in OTRs are over 100 times that of the general population and tumours are often multiple and more aggressive. Education on sun protection measures and self-surveillance are of paramount importance as a means of reducing the incidence of skin cancers and enabling earlier detection, as most skin cancers are easily treatable if recognised early. To learn more about how to recognise the signs of skin cancers, please go to the “Recognising Skin Cancer” section of the website. Further information can also be found in the patient information leaflet section.