Thursday, December 19, 2019


Founded in 2000, Virtual Grand Rounds in Dermatology (VGRD) is a gathering place for dermatologists the world over to meet with one another and share interesting and/or challenging patients. In addition, we welcome all other health care practitioners with an interest in cutaneous disorders.  One may want to ask a question about diagnosis or therapy, present an interesting clinical photo or post a photomicrograph. We are a group of clinical and academic dermatologists who believe that web-based teledermatology can be both personally and professionally enriching.

Digital photography makes it possible to post clinical and microscopic images with ease. There are a dizzying number of cameras to choose from. The site creators will help you with advice here if you want.  In the past few years, smart phones have improved to the point where their images are more than acceptable.

Even if one lives in a city with a major medical center it is often difficult to get one's patients to Grand Rounds. And if one does, the turnout and discussion may be disappointing. VGRD is always available. You can post a message at 6:00 p.m. in Boston, Henry Foong may see it at 6:00 a.m. in Ipoh, Malaysia as he sits down at his home computer. Often, you will have received a few suggestions or comments when you log on the next morning.

VGRD has been a virtual consultative and collegial community for over 15 years. John Halle, the 16th Century English physician/poet, penned these perceptive words about the consultation in a long forgotten tract:

    When thou arte callde at anye time,
    A patient to see:
    And dost perceave the cure to grate,
    And ponderous for thee:

    See that thou laye disdeyne aside,
    And pryde of thyne own skyll:
    And think no shame counsell to take,
    But rather wyth good wyll.

    Get one or two of experte men,
    To helpe thee in that neede;
    To make them partakers wyth thee
    In that work to procede....

Halle's words guide us as we gather 500 years later in a consultative community the likes of which he probably could not have fathomed. So, let us "laye disdeyne aside,/ And pryde of [our] own skyll:/ And think no shame counsell to take,/ But rather wyth good wyll" join us in this global community of peers to help our patients and educate each other and ourselves.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Granulomas in 62 year-old fisherman

Presented by Dr. Henry Foong
Ipoh, Malaysia

A 62 yr old man presented with 4 weeks history of pruritic papular lesions on the thighs bilaterally which then spread to the legs. The pruritus was intermittent and he felt feverish at times. No history of trauma. He is a retired fisherman and lives  in Teluk Intan about 60 km south of Ipoh, Malaysia.

O/E: showed multiple indurated erythematous papules, non-tender distributed symmetrically over the inner thighs and legs. Superficial erosions and ulcerations were noted on the affected areas. There was no crepitus.
The referring physician suspected elephantiasis. The patient is on oral antibiotics ( metronidazole and unasyn) and albendazole.  At one time he was on DEC (diethylcarbamazine)  but it was withheld because of side effects.

Lab: Blood counts showed normal TWBC with 7% eosinophils.  The physician did a colonoscopy last month and biopsy suggested underlying parasitic colon infection.

Culture of the skin lesions - Clostridium perfrigens.
A skin biopsy was performed on the skin papules on the thigh.

Pathology: Skin biopsy showed epidermis with marked spongiosis. the dermis show cluster and scattered granulomas with abundant surrounding neutrophils and plasma cells.  There is a huge collection neutrophils with necrotic material. There are multinucleate gaints granulomas. The inflammatory cells involved the subcutaneous fat.

Clinical and Pathological Images:

Impression:  Sporotrichosis?

Questions: What are your thoughts? What further studies would you consider.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dupilumab Conjunctivitis

The patient is a 55 year-old woman who has been on dupilumab (Dupixent) for two months.  She had life-ling severe atopic dermatitis and states that her skin has never been this clear in her memory.  She has, however, developed a conjunctivitis of her lid and bulbar conjunctivae.  She is so happy that her skin is clear that she is not complaining, and her eyes are not uncomfortable.

There are no references to conjunctivitis on dupilumab, but the package insert indicates that 10% of patients have experienced this.  If you have any recommendations, I would appreciate hearing them.

Photos presented with patient permission


Conjunctivitis Occurring in Atopic Dermatitis Patients Treated with Dupilumab - Clinical Characteristics and Treatment.
Wollenberg A, et. al. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Feb 9. pii: S2213-2198(18)30089-8.

Here, we report our experience with this clinically relevant complication of dupilumab treated AD seen in 25% and 50% of patients from our two centers from April 2016 to February 2017, and give treatment recommendations based on our personal experience with 13 moderate-to-severe dupilumab-treated AD patients developing conjunctivitis as adverse event. This conjunctivitis is reported in temporal association with dupilumab treatment, but a causal relation is not establishedDescription:

However, in our limited experience, antihistamine eye drops and artificial tears did not confer any alleviation in this type of conjunctivitis. In 11 patients, dupilumab-related conjunctivitis was treated with topical tacrolimus or steroids, leading to clinically significant improvement or full recovery in all 11 patients treated.

Two treatment options were particularly effective.
In 5 patients conjunctivitis was treated with fluorometholone 0.1% eye drops, leading to significant improvement.
In four patients, conjunctivitis was treated with tacrolimus 0.03% eye ointment. Signs and clinical symptoms improved significantly in all patients, and in 2 patients, full recovery of conjunctivitis was achieved.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Mal Perforans Ulcer

The patient 74 year old divorcee who lives alone.  He is an insulin-dependent diabetic with peripheral neuropathy.  He has had a plantar ulcer for > 6 months that began after a callosity was pared down by a podiatrist.  He has been seen at a wound care clinic for six months where dressings are done.  He is afraid he may lose his foot.

O/E:  On the plantar aspect of the left foot, he has a clean. painless ulcer measuring about 1.4 cm in diameter.  There was a thick callosity the ulcer's periphery.  His pedal pulses are strong.

Clinical image:
Question:  How would you approach this ulcer?

Lu SH, McLaren AM. Wound healing outcomes in a diabetic foot ulcer outpatient clinic at an acute care hospital: a retrospective study. J Wound Care. 2017 Oct 1;26(Sup10):S4-S11
OBJECTIVE: Patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) have an increased risk of lower extremity amputation. A retrospective chart review of patients with DFUs attending the Foot Treatment and Assessment chiropodist-led outpatient clinic at an inner-city academic hospital was conducted to determine wound healing outcomes and characteristics contributing to outcomes.
METHOD: We reviewed the complete clinical history of 279 patients with 332 DFUs spanning over a five-year period.
RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 61.5±12.5 years and most patients (83.5%) had one DFU. The majority of wounds (82.5%) were in the forefoot. Overall, 267/332 (80.5%) wounds healed. A greater proportion of wounds healed in the forefoot (82.5%) and midfoot (87.1%) than hindfoot (51.9%; p<0.001). Using a logistic regression model, palpable pedal pulse and use of a total contact cast were associated with better wound healing.
CONCLUSION: Our findings are the first to demonstrate the benefits of chiropodists leading an acute care outpatient clinic in the management of DFUs in Canada and delivers wound healing outcomes equivalent to or exceeding those previously published.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nail Dystrophy in 59 yo Woman

The patient is a healthy librarian who noticed a reddish area under the left thumb nail ~ 3 months ago.  Shortly after that, the distal portion of the nail become yellowish.  She has not history of trauma and the area is not painful

O/E:  There is erythema noted medically in the nail bed and the nail plate is onycholytic.  No abnormality of the nail plate is noted other than the yellowish area and possibly a Beau's line.  The patient feels that the red area has migrated medially.

Clinical Image:
My thoughts:  I am concerned that there may be a tumor under the nail plate.  The fact that it is painless argues against glomus tumor.  I welcome suggestions.

Thank you,

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Non-healing ulcer after surfing injury

Surfer's Sore

The patient is a 70 year-old surfer living in Hawaii.  Two months ago, he sustained a cut over his shin bone on a lava rock/sandstone shelf of a reef on Kauai.  It has not healed in spite of cleaning area daily with chlorhexidine scrub and applying Medihoney and triple anti bacteria ointment.  He says, "What is weird and kinda creepy is it feels like something is crawling around in there from time to time, especially while sleeping?"  The patient, a light-complected Caucasian, has a history of non-melanoma skin cancer.  He is scrupulous about sun-protection, but has spent more than a half a century with significant sun-exposure.

This is the sandstone slab on which the injury took place:
What are your thoughts?

1.  Sea Ulcers Andrew Nathanson, MD,  Surfing Medicine (Journal of Surfing Medical Association) Dec, 2014

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Two year-old with enanthem and exanthem for two weeks

Presented by Will Shepard, M.D.
Gillette, WY

The patient is a two year-old girl with a two week history of oral and skin lesions.  She has been well and healthy otherwise and all of her milestones have been normal.  The present illness began with two ulcers on her tongue.   A few days later she started to develop skin lesions, first on the arms.  The new lesions start with erythematous macules and became crusted after 12 – 18 hrs.  She has continued to develop new lesions on the torso, face and extremities.  Throughout this period she has been healthy, no fevers, appetite normal and in no discomfort.

O/E:  The tongue lesions have disappeared.  The skin lesions are few in number and measure 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter.  They are scaly annular macules on an erythematous base.

Clinical Images:
Rough area from Bandaid
New Lesion present since patient seen yesterday:

Impression:  The onset of an acute problem with first oral and then skin lesions in an otherwise healthy toddler suggests a viral process.

[Paraviral exanthems]. [Article in German]
Fölster-Holst R, Zawar V, Chuh A. Hautarzt. 2017 Mar;68(3):211-216.
Abstract: Paraviral exanthems are distinct skin diseases due to infections with different viruses. Although no virus has been identified so far in some exanthems, the main age of manifestation, the clinical course of the exanthem, and the extracutaneous symptoms are suggestive for a viral genesis. While many viral infections are a direct result of the infection, paraviral exanthems reflect the response of the immune system to the infectious pathogens. Viruses cannot be identified in the skin. Typical paraviral exanthems include Gianotti-Crosti syndrome, pityriasis rosea, pityriasis lichenoides, papular-purpuric gloves and sock syndrome, and asymmetrical periflexural exanthema. Unilateral mediothoracic exanthem, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis are rare and eruptive hypomelanosis has been described recently.