Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dermatitis Neglecta

The patient is a 15 yo boy with a three month history of a dermatosis of his cheeks.

O/E: Slightly greenish symmetrical dermatosis of cheeks.  Othewise, normal.

Photos taken by patient's mother and emailed to me.

Dermatoscopic images before and after area was cleansed with an alcohol pledget.

Diagnosis:  Dermatitis Neglecta

There are no descriptions of the dermatoscopic appearance of this disorder.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Laugier Hunziker syndrome

The patient is a 74 yo man with a long history of oral hyperpigmentation.  He was presented on VGRD in 2012, but we have further history now.  The pigmentation has been present many years. His mother had a similar process by history.

He has a history of colon polyps. His paternal grandmother had colon cancer. His mother had colonic polyps and breast cancer. His father and his father’s brother both had leukemia.

O/E:  There are multiple dark brown irregular lenticular hyperpigmented macules of 2–5 mm diameteron the lower lip ant tongue.  No other hyperpigmentation was noted.

Clinical Image:

Diagnosis: Laugier Hunziker syndrome vs Peutz Jeghers syndrome
Case to be discussed at Hot Spots 2016

1. Laugier–Hunziker Syndrome: A Rare Cause of Oral and Acral Pigmentation
Silonie Sachdeva, Shabina Sachdeva, and Pranav Kapoor
J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2011 Jan-Apr; 4(1): 58–60.
Abstract: Laugier–Hunziker syndrome (LHS) is an acquired, benign pigmentary skin condition involving oral cavity including lower lip in the form of brown black macules 1–5 mm in size, frequently associated with longitudinal melanonychia. There is no underlying systemic abnormality or malignant predisposition associated with LHS, and therefore the prognosis is good. Important differential diagnoses include Peutz Jeghers syndrome and Addison’s disease among other causes of oral and acral pigmentation.  PubMed Central.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Annular Lesions in a 50 yo woman

This image was sent by Dr. Yogesh Jain from India for diagnostic suggestions.
The only history provided was that the process is present on the hands and feet and has been ongoing for 25 years. The lesions regress after a number of months.

Other than a variant of granuloma annulare or elastosis perforans serpiginosa, what are your thoughts?

Biopsy is important but so is the dermatopathologist who reads it.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

What is Right Care?

The patient is a 90 year-old man, homebound with a dementia.  His 87 year-old wife is a steadfast, loving and loyal caregiver.  His dermatologist has made house calls for the past four months. 

There are non-melanoma skin cancers on the left cheek  and mid upper lip.  The former lesion has increased from 1.3 to 1.5 mm in diameter and the the lip lesion has increased from 1.8 to 2.2 mm in diameter in the past two months.  Both are somewhat inflammatory and crusted. He picks on the lip lesion, but because of his dementia he can not articulate what it is that bothers him.
March 2016

Thoughts: The question is what is the best treatment for this man.  The lesion on the left cheek could be curetted and desiccated in the office. The lesion on the lip is a more complicated problem. 

A trial of topical 5-FU plus imiquimod may be helpful, especially for the lesion on the lip, as a palliative procedure.  The lesion on the malar eminence which grew rapidly ~ 6 months ago and is either a squamous cell or a keratoacanthoma) could be curetted and dessicated.

The patient can not make a decision for himself and his wife wants to just watch these lesions.  She understands that treatment is not likely impact on his quality of life at this point and want’s to spare him the trauma or surgery.

As physicians, we feel compelled to “do something.”  Is this the right time to “not just do something, but to sit there.”

1. Linos E. Treatment of nonfatal conditions at the end of life: nonmelanoma skin cancer.  JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jun 10;173(11):1006-12
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Most NMSCs are treated surgically, regardless of the patient's life expectancy. Given the very low tumor recurrence rates and high mortality from causes unrelated to NMSC in patients with limited life expectancy, clinicians should consider whether these patients would prefer less invasive treatment strategies.  PubMed.  PMC Free Full Text.

2.  Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katie Butler is an honest, sobering book that describes what awaits so many elderly people and their caregivers, who are often family members.  It is relevant to how one manages a patient such as the man described and discussed here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hypopigmentation in an African

The patient is a 39 yo man from Ghana.  His wife noticed these spots on his back recently.  My first diagnosis was tinea versicolor; but KOH prep showed only spores.  Is this just quiescent T.v.?  It's symmetrically distributed over upper back (no where else).  In differential diagnosis was vitiligo -- but this is incomplete hypopigmentyation (which can occur with vitiligo, but less commonly).  I suggested ketoconazole cream and a follow-up in 3 months.  If still present, may do a biopsy.
What are your thoughts?

1. The utility of dermoscopy in the diagnosis of evolving lesions of vitiligo.
Thatte SS1, Khopkar US.  Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2014 Nov-Dec;80(6):505-8.
BACKGROURD: Early lesions of vitiligo can be confused with various other causes of hypopigmentation and depigmentation. Few workers have utilized dermoscopy for the diagnosis of evolving lesions of vitiligo.
CONCLUSION: Pigmentary network changes, and perifollicular and perilesional hyperpigmentation on polarized light examination, and a diffuse white glow on ultraviolet light examination were noted in evolving vitiligo lesions. Histopathological examination was comparatively less reliable. Dermoscopy appears to be better than routine histopathology in the diagnosis of evolving lesions of vitiligo and can obviate the need for a skin biopsy. Free Full Text.

2. Dermoscopy as an ancillary tool for the diagnosis of pityriasis versicolor.
Zhou H, Tang XH, Chen MK. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Dec;73(6):e205-6. (this is only reference in PubMed on T.v. and dermsocopy and it is not particularly helpful)

3. Dermatoscope--the dermatologist's stethoscope.
Lallas A, Argenziano G.  Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2014 Nov-Dec;80(6):493-4. Full Free Text 
This is an interesting somewhat philosophical article.  The references are extensive and helpful.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Alopecia Universalis in a Teenage Girl

Presented by Henry Foong, Ipoh, Malaysia

Here is a patient I saw recently.  She is a 17-year-old girl who has a history of severe alopecia since the age of 12 years.  It was abrupt and sudden with marked loss of scalp hair followed by eye brows and other body hair.  Within a month, she had developed alopecia universalis.  She was initially treated with intralesional triamcinolone and topical minoxidil but did not help.  Subsequently she had NB-UVB 3 times weekly in the local hospital but that also did not do much good.  She was advised to go to tertiary centres in KL but was disappointed with only one visit.  She could not go to NSC in Singapore because of financial constraints.  As a Malay, she always wears a tudong to cover her scalp.  There was no other systemic complaints.  She is the 4th in the family of 5 siblings.  No family history of alopecia. 

She saw me yesterday.  Am trying out DPCP diphencyprone sensitisation for her.  She had a previous sensitisation done but quit after one treatment.  She had total alopecia affecting the scalp, eyebrow, eyelash, axillary and suprapubic area. Used 0.1% DPCP concentration, left on the scalp for 24 hours and reviewed the next day.  She does have good reaction with small vesicles and plan to do it weekly till her hair grows.  The eyebrow hair loss was treated with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide injection of 10 mg/ml strength.  According to literature, topical minoxidil 5% solution, topical clobetasol ointment and weekly methotrexate 25mg/wk do help too.  Other novel therapy would include JAK inhibitors.
Comment:  Who has had real success treating patients with AU? Are there any lab tests of real value?

After DPCP sensitization

1. Clinical Efficacy of Diphenylcyclopropenone in Alopecia Areata: Retrospective Data Analysis of 50 Patients.  Chiang KS, Mesinkovska NA, Piliang MP, Bergfeld WF. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2015 Nov;17(2):50-5.
Abstract: Diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) is widely considered the most effective topical immunotherapy for refractory or extensive alopecia areata (AA), but questions regarding how long to try DPCP therapy before terminating and what factors are prognostic of therapeutic success still remain unanswered. In this retrospective study of 50 AA patients, we evaluated DPCP efficacy and identified patient factors predictive of therapeutic success/failure. The median duration of DPCP treatment was 3 years, with 47% patients experiencing their first regrowth in the first 6 months of DPCP therapy, 20% between 6 months-1 year, and 8% between 1-2 years. In our study, treatment success, defined as 50% terminal hair regrowth, was reached in 71% of alopecia totalis patients and in 56% of alopecia universalis patients. Three factors were statistically significant predictors of poor treatment outcome-extent of hair loss before DPCP treatment, history of thyroid disease, and extent of body hair involvement. Relapse was observed in 44% of patients and significantly associated with history of thyroid disease. Common side effects were itching, rash, and local lymphadenopathy. The results of this study support our belief that DPCP therapy is a viable treatment option, can be successfully accomplished at home, and should not be terminated before 2 years.

2.  Pulse corticosteroid therapy for alopecia areata: study of 139 patients.
Nakajima T1, Inui S, Itami S. Dermatology. 2007;215(4):320-4.
Author information
Abstract: Of the patients, 72.7% had hair loss on > 50% of their scalp area. Among the recent-onset group (duration of AA < or = 6 months), 59.4% were good responders (> 75% regrowth of alopecia lesions), while 15.8% with > 6 months duration showed a good response. Recent-onset AA patients with less severe disease (< or = 50% hair loss) responded at a rate of 88.0%, but only 21.4% of recent-onset patients with 100% hair loss responded. No serious adverse effects were observed.

3. Association between vitamin D levels and alopecia areata.
Mahamid M, Abu-Elhija O, Samamra M, Mahamid A, Nseir W. Isr Med Assoc J. 2014 Jun;16(6):367-70.
RESULTS: Mean CRP values were significantly higher in the AA group than the control group (1.1 +/- 0.7 mg/dl vs. 0.4 +/- 0.8 mg/ dl, P < 0.05). Vitamin D levels were significantly decreased in the AA group (11.32 +/- 10.18 ng/ml vs. 21.55 +/- 13.62 ng/ml in the control group, P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that CRP (odds ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 2.6-4.2, P = 0.04) and serum vitamin D levels < 30 ng/ml (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.2-3.1, P = 0.02) were associated with AA.
CONCLUSIONS: We found a significant correlation between AA and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can be a significant risk factor for AA occurrence.

4. Pulse corticosteroid therapy with oral dexamethasone for the treatment of adult alopecia totalis and universalis JAAD, May 2016  Link.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chronic Stasis Dermatitis

Abstract: 68 yo man with chronic dermatitis of left leg

History: The patient has had a chronic dermatitis of left leg for over ten years.  He has been seen at the Wound Care Clinic for over three years.  What worked best in the past was an Unna boot but these are not used as commonly anymore as we have newer, more high-tech types of bandages. 

O/E: He has chronic lymphedema of the left leg, which periodically develops elephantiasis-like changes. The examination woody edema left leg, that is erythematous with crusted areas.  It looks clean today and there is no evidence of secondary infection.
Impression:  Chronic dermatitis of his left leg.  It is most likely a chronic stasis eczema. 

Comments: He has been diligent about home care.  For the time being, he will use wet dressings with a dilute bleach (a half cup of Chlorox per 40 gallons of water in a bathtub) and zinc oxide-like paste.  He will be seen back in two weeks.  Consider going back to an Unna boot.

What are your thoughts?