Hydroxyurea: a reappraisal of its cutaneous side effects and their management.

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Hydroxyurea (HU) is known to cause a broad spectrum of cutaneous side effects, ranging from relatively benign to severe. Although dermatologists are often consulted for the treatment of these side effects, a comprehensive resource discussing the different types and their management is lacking. In this study, we conducted a literature search in order to critically evaluate the reported types and management of hydroxyurea's cutaneous side effects, as well as review its mechanism of action, dermatologic uses, and common systemic side effects. Relatively common and benign side effects include hyperpigmentation, xerosis, and skin atrophy. While serious cutaneous side effects such as leg ulcers or nonmelanoma skin cancers occur in a substantial proportion of patients, these may resolve with HU discontinuation and proper dermatologic management. Therefore, it is crucial for dermatologists to be aware of these various cutaneous side effects and their management as prompt diagnosis and proper treatment will improve patient outcomes.


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