Friday, June 16, 2017

The Fung Shui Nevus

Presented by: Micah Ashkenazi
Root Town, Ohio

The patient is a 19 year-old American-born, Chinese college student living in Ohio.  Her mother brings her in for an office visit regarding a nevus..  The 2 mm in diameter lesion has been present near the bulb of the nose for years with no worrisome changes.

Diagnosis:  Acquired melanocytic nevus.  Possibly a blue nevus.

Discussion:  I reassured the patient's mother that this is a benign lesion and can be safely observed.  The mother only speaks Cantonese.  She and her daughter have a longish conversation in Chinese.  The daughter tells me that her mother believes that moles on this part of the nose have bad fung shui.  In that case, I acquiesced and agreed to remove the mole which can be done with a 3 mm punch.  A shave may leave some residual pigment and that would be unacceptable to them.

The patient and her mother take fung shui seriously and want the lesion removed.  This will be scheduled at a propitious time as decided by their astrologer in Chinatown.

Clearly, this is a cultural issue, not a medical one.  Failure to consider that might have led to a disconnect between the patient, her family and the physician. How many other similar scenarios have I missed over the years?

PubMed is strangely silent on Feng Shui; however there are many references on Google.

Face Reading Feng Shui in Chinese Five Arts.  It says, " If there is a mole on the nose, it will be bad luck between 40 to 50 years old."


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Single Digit Leuconycia

The patient is a 64 yo school teacher who presents for a white nail.
Anamnesis: "The nail has been white for at least 6 months.  No other fingernails or toenails are white.  I had a ring on that finger that got super tight. I have finally removed the ring.  Sometimes the finger hurts, even now, like it may be arthritic."

O/E:  The nail of the 4th finger of the left hand is uniformly white.  There is no flaking or friability.  Other than the color, the nail plate looks normal. All other finger- and toenails are normal


Diagnosis:  Singe Digit Leuconycia.  This does not look like superficial white onycholysis.  At the time I saw the patient, I did not think to do a KOK prep since the nail plate looked so normal.  In retrospect, I think this should be done.

The patient's questions are:
Is there something I can do to get it back to being a normal color?
Will it ever go back on its own to being normal - no longer white?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

This is the saga of a man whose care poses therapeutic dilemmas.

HPI:  The patient is a 69 yo man with a greater than 40 year history of severe psoriasis.  He was a research subject at a prestigious university hospital for many years.  Over that time, he has received PUVA, methotrexate and an investigational drug, Rapamycin.  He has been treated with NB UVB and acitretin with some improvement.  As a result of his therapies, he has developed numerous squamous cell carcinomas.  These pose therapeutic challenges They are painful, foul smelling and difficult for the patient to care for.  An additional problem is occasionally disabling trigeminal neuralgia.  He has had many well-differentiated SCCs excised over the past decade.  He has atrial fibrillation, Factor 5 deficiency and is on warfarin and a host of cardiac medication.

O/E:  Wide-spread erythema and scale covering entire integument except head and neck.  There is a 3 cm exophytic tumor of the left pre-tibial area and smaller similar tumors on right leg, back and chest.

Clinical Photos (6.6.17)
L. Pretibial
Diagnosis:  Generalized psoriasis, Squamous cell carcinomas

Questions:  Should these lesions be excised? Should we consider  one of the new targeted therapies?  Do any of our members have expertise with them?  This man has a number of co-morbidities which may make therapy more difficult.


Oral therapy for nonmelanoma skin cancer in patients with advanced disease and large tumor burden: a review of the literature with focus on a new generation of targeted therapies.
Rudnick EW, Thareja S, Cherpelis B. Int J Dermatol. 2016 Mar;55(3):249-58
Author information
Abstract: This review of the literature aims to describe previous and current treatment options for oral therapy in locally advanced and metastatic NMSC otherwise unamenable to standard treatment. Oral Smoothened (Smo) inhibitors Vismodegib, Sonidegib, and Taladegib have shown to be effective in several trials. Oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors Erlotinib and Gefitinib, which target epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), have early supporting data and are currently undergoing large multicenter trials. Oral therapy in NMSC is useful in high risk patients with recurrent and aggressive disease who may not tolerate other systemic therapies.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Woman with Fever, Malaise, Myalgias and Rash

White Islands in a Sea of Red

Presented by Dr Henry B.B. Foong
from Foong Skin Specialist Clinic
Ipoh, Malaysia

A 45-year-old woman presented with a one-week history of fever and generalised rash. She initially had fever and sore throat and subsequently developed shoulder myalgia.  She saw her general practitioner who prescribed antihistamines and analgesics.  She then developed rashes on the legs.  Thinking this could be a drug eruption, the patient consulted her general practitioner again who did not think this was a cutaneous drug eruption.  Instead, he prescribed amoxicillin/clavulanate, but the rash spread further to her trunk and upper limbs.  The rash was only mildly pruritic.  She had no eye, oral or genital symptoms. There was no history of contact with patients with similar illness.

Physical examination showed stable vital signs with no dehydration. There was generalized confluent erythema distributed mainly on the legs but extending to trunk and upper extremities.  Prominent “islands of white” within the erythema over the lower legs were noted. It did not blanch completely, leaving behind petechiael lesions when pressed.

Clinical Photographs

Lab: Blood tests were positive for Dengue IgG and IgM antibody.
TWBC 5,100 (N38% L 36% M 22% E3% B1%) platelets 71,000 and Hct 38%

Pathology: 2 skin biopsies were taken from the right leg. One from the confluent generalised erythema and another from the white islands. Histopathology is pending

Diagnosis: Exanthem of Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever ranks among one of the most important arthropod borne viral infections with high morbidity and mortality in the tropics and subtropics including urban populations. It is caused by Dengue virus, a flavivirus which is transmitted by mosquitos Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.  There are 4 distinct serotypes DENV-1,2,3 and 4. Each episode of infection induces a life-long protective immunity to the homologous serotype but confers only  partial  and  transient  protection  against  other  serotypes.

The cutaneous manifestations of dengue fever are characteristic.  Skin eruptions appear in 80% of patients during the remission of the fever. Approximately one-half of patients develop a centrifugal macular, maculopapular, scarlatiniform, or petechial eruption. The cutaneous eruptions may become confluent, with small, round islands of sparing, the so-called white islands in a sea of red. The rash characteristically starts on the dorsum of the hands and feet and spreads to the arms, legs, and torso; the face is rarely involved. The eruption seen in dengue is usually short-lived, lasting from a few hours to several days.


from eMedicine reference

Friday, May 26, 2017

Atypical Melanocytic Lesions

The patient is an 87 yo man with a history of dysplastic nevi and melanoma-in-situ.  He is seen every four to sic months.  The current exam found a 1.5 cm atypical melanocytic lesion on his left mid back.

Clinical and Dermatoscopic Images

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PVLE Variant?

May 12, 2017
The patient is a 75 yo man with a 7 day history of a pruritic papular eruption on his legs.  This began on a recent trip to Florida after sun exposure.  He is on no photosensitizing medications.

O/E:  Erythematous non-blanching papules on both lower extremities.

Clinical Images:
Lab:  CBC, ANA normal

Pathology:  No evidence of vasculitis

Diagnosis:  Could this be an example of Papulo-vesicular Light Eruption?

1.  Papulovesicular light eruption. A defined subset of polymorphous light eruption.
Elpern DJ, Morison WL, Hood AF.  Arch Dermatol. 1985 Oct;121(10):1286-8.
Abstract:  A distinctive photodermatitis is seen commonly in tourists visiting Hawaii. Analysis of 150 cases revealed that the eruption is acute in onset following exposure to sunlight, is confined to exposed areas, and mainly affects young to middle-aged white women. The clinical presentation is remarkably uniform, consisting of papules, papulovesicles, or vesicles. These findings are consistent with a diagnosis of polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) and the histologic picture supports this diagnosis. Other clinical variants of PMLE were not seen in our patients, however, which suggests that this condition is more monomorphous than polymorphous. We suggest papulovesicular light eruption as a suitable name for this common and distinctive subset of PMLE. 

2.  Papulovesicular light eruption. A defined subset of polymorphous light eruption.
Elpern DJ, Morison WL, Hood AF. Arch Dermatol. 1985 Oct;121(10):1286-8.
Abstract: A distinctive photodermatitis is seen commonly in tourists visiting Hawaii. Analysis of 150 cases revealed that the eruption is acute in onset following exposure to sunlight, is confined to exposed areas, and mainly affects young to middle-aged white women. The clinical presentation is remarkably uniform, consisting of papules, papulovesicles, or vesicles. These findings are consistent with a diagnosis of polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) and the histologic picture supports this diagnosis. Other clinical variants of PMLE were not seen in our patients, however, which suggests that this condition is more monomorphous than polymorphous. We suggest papulovesicular light eruption as a suitable name for this common and distinctive subset of PMLE.

A Case for Diagnosis

The patient is a 58 yo woman with asymptomatic lesions under breasts, in the axillae and groin.  She is on no medications,  She has breast cancer seven years ago treated with lumpectomy and chemotherapy (no radiation) and has been off therapy for 6 years.

O/E:  slightly hyperpigmented macules in affected areas.  KOH negative.

Clinical Photos:
Left axilla
Pathology:  2 representative punch biopsies were taken. 
Report: Focal basal layer vacuolization, a mild superficial perivascular and focally band-like lymphocytic infiltrate with rare eosinophils, papillary dermal fibrosis, numerous melanophages, and telangiectasia, consistent with a lichenoid interface dermatitis with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

NOTE: The differential diagnosis could include lichen planus (possibly lichen planus pigmentosus) or a lichenoid drug eruption.

Diagnosis: Lichen Planus Variant.  Is this annular atrophic lichen planus?

Annular atrophic lichen planus.

Morales-Callaghan A Jr1, et. al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 May;52(5):906-8.
Abstract: We describe a new case of annular atrophic lichen planus. Annular atrophic lichen planus is a rare variant of lichen planus that is clinically characterized by violaceous plaques of annular morphology with central atrophy and histopathologic findings of annular and atrophic lichen planus, respectively. There have been 4 cases of this entity reported previously.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recessive X-Linked Ichthyosis

The patient is a 65-year-old engineer who presents for evaluation of skin lesions.  He grew up in a Southern state and during high school and college worked summers doing roadwork.  He wants a screening for skin cancer. The patient has had a B-cell lymphoma 3-4 years ago. 

He has had a form of ichthyosis since about age 2.  Other family members are affected.  They are all on his mother’s side.  His mother’s brother and some male maternal cousins are similarly affected. He always felt like an outsider in his school, and was bullied in grade and high school because of this scaly skin.  This has informed his self-image as an adult.

EXAMINATION:  A complete skin examination was done. He has scaly polygonal, somewhat “dirty-appearing” plaques on the legs, torso, and arms.  He has normal palms.  Head and neck are normal.  He has no lesions that are worrisome for melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, or actinic keratoses. 

Clinical Images:  

Polygonal Scale
Normal Palm in X-Linked Ichthyosis
IMPRESSION:  Recessiive X-linked ichthyosis.

PLAN:  We discussed his ichthyosis.  One can get free Aquaphor from the drug company and we will order some for him. 

I will run his case by some pediatric dermatology colleagues.  I do not know whether any further testing is needed for a 65-year-old man who is not going to have any children.  

Corneal opacities are relatively common in these patients and may be evident with slit-lamp examination both of adult males who are affected and of women who are carriers. Cryptorchidism has been reported in 20% of patients. A few cases of testicular cancer have developed in patients with X-linked ichthyosis and cryptorchidism.

FIRST: The Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types is a great resource for patients and providers.  See FIRST’s page on Recessive X-Linked Ichthyosis.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

60 yo man with scaly rash upper chest

This 60 yo disabled man has had a sic moth history of a mildly pruritic eruption of his upper chest.  I expected the KOH prem to be postive, but it was not.  He has lots of psychosocial problems (wife an alcoholic, daughter a heroin addict) -- not enough time to properly evaluate; so a biopsy was done.  If that is negative for fungal elements I would think about Casal's necklace whigh I have never seen.

Pathology:  The biopsy showed a mild superficial spongiotic dermatitis with no evidence offungal elements.

Follow-up:  When seen back for suture removal, another KOH prep was done.  It was positive for numerous septate hyaline hyphae.  The original KOH prep was taken from the advancing scaly border as was the biopsy.  Sampling error caused the misdiagnosis.  The patient was started on terbinafine 250 mg daily for six weeks.  Follow-up photos will be posted when he returns.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

63 y.o. Man with P.R.-like Eruption

The patient is a 63 yo man with a one month history of an asymptomatic eruption on the torso.  He has a history of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treated successfully four years ago.

O/E:  Healthy-appearing man with Type III skin.  He has .5 to 1 cm in diameter plaques on his torso and proximal extremities.  On his left forehead, he has three follicular papules.

Clinical Images

Comment:  This looks banal; but considering the patient's history biopsy is necessary.  Two representative lesions were sampled with 4-mm trephines.

Pathology: Biopsy showed no atypical features and this most likely  represents Pityriasis rosea in a somewhat immunocompromised man.  Since his lymphoma treatment, his white count is ~ 1800 - 2000 but he feels well otherwise.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pruritic Nodules

The patient is a 32 year old Hispanic woman with a 2 year history of pruritic nodules on her knees, right ankle and dorsum of right hand.Her health is good otherwise and she takes no medications by mouth.  She denies kneeling, rubbing or manipulating the skin.  Her primary physician has give her various topical steroids which were not effective.

O/E:  There are a few hyperpigmented nodules in these areas.  She has Type IV skin.

Lab:  None

Diagnosis: Similar lesions have been seen after  trauma from habitual pressure from kneeling, surfing, praying: but thepatient denies these.

I am not hopeful about impacting here.  What thoughts do you have?  Are any lab tests or biopsy indicated?

Thursday, April 06, 2017

78 yo man with scalp lesions

Abstract:  78 yo man with 1 year history of scalp lesions.

May 9,2016:  Cryotherapy 4 keratoses on vertex of scalp
August 11, 2016: Crusted lesions at site of cryotherapy.  Clinical diagnosos of erosive pustular dermatosis of scalp made.  Treated with mupirocin oint and clobeyasol ointment  Initially improved.
Sept 9 2016:  Resolved
10/24/2016: Continued to do well
April 4, 2017: Recurrent lesions on vertex of scalp.  Thick crusted lesions (see photo)  The crusts were brownish and dirty looking, but unfortunately I removed them before taking the photo of April, 2017.

O/E:  What was initially hypertrophic keratosit papules were transformed into ~ 1 cm crusted erosive lesions.

Clinical  Photos:
Note pustule
4.4.17 (after crusts removed)
s/p 1 week Chlorhexidine, 4 days tacrolimus 0.1%

Lab:  August 11, 2016: + Staph aureus from lesion Vx scalp - usual sensitivities

This is either erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp or squamous cell ca.  The rapid worsening since cryotherapy suggests the former.  It appears that biopsy may be necessary.  Not all cases of EPD respond to clobetasol ointment.

Questions:  Is this EPD or are these lesions squamous cell carcinomas.  Patient is reluctant to have a biopsy done. This process appears to have been gtriggered by the trauma of liquid nitrogen and did respond initially to clobetasol.  10 - 20% of EPD cases appear to be non-responders ro clobetasol.

Follow-up.  Marked improvement following chlorhexidine wash daily and topical tacrolimus 0.1% ointment at the suggestion of a colleague.  He recurred after clobetasol ointment.

1. Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp: Clinical, trichoscopic, and histopathologic features of 20 cases.  [Current and thorough review]
Starace M, et. al.: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Feb 14.
BACKGROUND: Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp is a chronic eruption that leads to scarring alopecia.
OBJECTIVE: The clinical, dermoscopic, and histopathological features and the course of the disease in 20 patients were reviewed and compared with the reports in the literature.
RESULTS:The mean age was 59.4 years. Androgenetic alopecia was present in 12 patients, 6 of whom showed actinic damage. Trauma was reported in 9 patients. Four patients were affected by autoimmune disorders. The vertex was the most common location. In all 20 patients trichoscopy showed an absence of follicular ostia with skin atrophy. Histopathology revealed 3 different features, depending on the disease duration. A reduction of inflammatory signs was observed in 14 patients treated with topical steroids and in all 3 patients treated with topical tacrolimus 0.1%.
CONCLUSIONS: The relatively high number of patients allowed us to identify a better diagnostic approach, using trichoscopy, and a more effective therapeutic strategy, with high-potency steroids or tacrolimus, which should be considered as first-line treatment.

2.  Disseminated Erosive Pustular Dermatosis also Involving the Mucosa: Successful Treatment with Oral Dapsone (Free Full Text)
Jamison D. Feramisco.  Acta Derm Venereol. 2012 Jan; 92(1): 91–92.

3.  Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp: a review with a focus on dapsone therapy.
Broussard KC. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Apr;66(4):680-6
BACKGROUND: Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp (EPDS) is an inflammatory disorder of unknown origin characterized by pustules, erosions, and crusting in areas of alopecia that tend to be atrophic, actinically damaged, or both. The most common treatments reported include antibiotics and topical anti-inflammatories, which can be ineffective. In the search for effective treatment for EPDS, we share our experience with topical dapsone 5% gel.
OBSERVATIONS:We present 4 patients with EPDS, all with classic clinical presentations and histologic findings of EPDS, who had failed a variety of treatments including oral, intralesional, or topical steroids, tacrolimus, and antibiotics. All patients demonstrated rapid improvement or resolution with topical dapsone 5% gel.
CONCLUSION: Our observations demonstrate topical dapsone 5% gel to be a novel, safe, and efficacious therapeutic alternative for mild to moderate EPDS.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Herpes Zoster in a 10 year-old

The patient is an otherwise healthy ten year-old boy with a two day history of grouped zosteriform vesicles on the left arm, anterior shoulder and upper back.  He has mild discomfort.  No known illnesses and on no medication.  He had two immunizations for varicella at the approopriate ages.

Observation:  All of the grouped vesicles appeared to be of uniform size.

Lab:  A Tzanck smear was positive for multinucleated giant cells.

Diagnosis:  Herpes zoster roughly C3 - 6.

Herpes zoster in children is unusual but not all that rare.  There are a few cases of HZ after vaccination for varicella.  As he felt well, and as the effect of specific antiviral therapy is not striking; after discussion with his mother it was elected to simply follow.  In out opinion, in healthy children and young adults the course of HZ is usually relatively mild and almost never followed by post-herpetic neuralgia.  Immunity seems to wear off over time and it appears that this attenuated vaccine is capable of causing H.Z.  The other possibility is that this is zosteriform simplex.  We did not culture for that. 
While researching this case, we looked up "zosteriform simplex."  An observation (ref 4) indicates that in these patients the vesicles are of uniform size (as we see here).  This would tilt us towards a diagnosis of Zosteriform Herpes Simplex here, and not of vaccine failure.  Should this child get a recurrence, that would clinch the diagnosis.

1. Herpes zoster in children.
Peterson N, Goodman S, Peterson M. Cutis. 2016 Aug;98(2):94-5.


Herpes zoster (HZ) in immunocompetent children is quite uncommon. Initial exposure to the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) may be from a wild-type or vaccine-related strain. Either strain may cause a latent infection and subsequent eruption of HZ. We present a case of HZ in a 15-month-old boy after receiving the varicella vaccination at 12 months of age. A review of the literature regarding the incidence, clinical characteristics, and diagnosis of HZ in children also is provided. 
2. Herpes zoster and zosteriform herpes simplex virus infections in immunocompetent adults.

Kalman CM, Laskin OL. Am J Med. 1986 Nov;81(5):775-8.

Abstract: Among 111 immunocompetent patients referred to a general hospital setting with the clinical diagnosis of herpes zoster, viral cultures were obtained from 47 patients. Six of these patients (13 percent) had herpes simplex virus isolated, with four of the six infections involving the facial distribution, and the other two involving the T4 (breast) distribution. Excluding those in whom herpes simplex virus was isolated, the mean age (+/- SD) of the remaining 105 patients was 50 +/- 19 years. Thirty-two percent of the patients were at least 65 years old; however, 39 percent were younger than 40 years of age. Thus, herpes zoster frequently occurs in young, immunocompetent adults. Also, since zosteriform rashes may be caused by herpes simplex virus, viral cultures of lesions are useful to differentiate infections caused by herpes simplex virus from those due to varicella-zoster virus. The need to distinguish between these two viruses may be important with the advent of antiviral drugs and for use of the proper epidemiologic isolation procedures.
3. Varicella Vaccine (Wiki)
Vaccines are less effective among high-risk patients, as well as being more dangerous because they contain attenuated live virus. In a study performed on children with an impaired immune system, 30% had lost the antibody after five years, and 8% had already caught wild chickenpox in that five-year period.

4. Zosteriform herpes simplex and herpes zoster: A clinical clue

Sanath Aithal, Sheela Kuruvila, and Satyaki Ganguly. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Oct-Dec; 4(4): 369.  Free Full Text.

Excerpt: An important clinical observation by many authors that the vesicles of herpes simplex are uniform in size in contrast to the vesicles seen in herpes zoster, which vary in size. In other words, vesicles of herpes simplex are uniform within a cluster.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Vascular Lesion in a Six Year-Old

The patient is a 6-year-old boy who was seen for evaluation of a lesion on his right knee that has been present since infancy.  When he is active it swells up a bit and is uncomfortable, if not painful. He is in otherwise good health and his identical twin has no such lesion.  The child has seen by his family practitioner and two or three pediatricians.  He has had ultrasounds and x-rays, but none were diagnostic.  

O/E:  The examination shows a subtle dusky area on the right knee.  There are some vascular lesions within the area that are a millimeter in diameter or less.   Dermatoscopy more clearly defines them.

Clinical Photos:

PLAN:  A 4 mm punch biopsy was taken for diagnostic purposes. He may need to be referred to a center where they deal with vascular anomalies.   

Lymphatic malformation consistent with, in the appropriate clinical setting, lymphangioma.
The specimen exhibits compact hyperkeratosis, papillomatous epidermal hyperplasia, focal acanthosis, a sparse superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, and multiple dilated, irregular thin-walled vessels lined by a single layer of bland endothelial cells in the papillary dermis.

IMPRESSION:  Vascular anomaly: Lymphangioma    

Thursday, March 02, 2017

FitBit Dermatitis

The patient is a 54-year-old woman with a history of severe  atopic dermatitis.  She was seen today for evaluation of a dermatitis on the left wrist that began under her Fitbit Alta.  She thought that it might be an infection so she started applying Neosporin and within a day, it was much worse. 
During the intervierw, the patient said, with feeling, "I love my FitBit."

O/E:  The examination shows a localized area of dermatitis with crusting on the left wrist.  It is quite inflamed.


IMPRESSION:  Possible irritant versus allergic reaction to Fitbit followed by application of Neosporin with what appears to be an allergic contact dermatitis.           

PLAN:  She will need to stop the Fitbit for the time being.  Fluocinonide 0.05% ointment twice a day to area.  Wet compresses.  Return as necessary.


Initially, "Fitbit recalled the trackers and blamed rashes on allergic reactions to the nickel and glue in the wristband. However, scientists at the Consumer Product Safety Commission were testing a different theory.

They found that sweat in the charger caused a chemical reaction that produced a toxic compound, saying: "This scenario is supported by one consumer stating their injury occurred after charging... and a skin burn the shape of the charging port in another incident."
See: Possible cause of Fitbit rashes uncovered.

This it is unclear at this point.  Nickel allergy is easy to test for, however.


Friday, February 24, 2017

A Nail Struggle

Isolated Nail Dystrophy - Left Thumb

My Nail 2 March 2015
March 2015
"I’m not sure exactly how I damaged my nail, but it happened in May 2014 when I was working outdoors clearing brush. Either I banged it really hard or dropped something on it. It never really hurt, but it quickly became unsightly, with lots of bruising, mottling from black to deep mahogany to orange to yellow. The nail developed a significant ridge until October 2014, when it came off in one piece.

Underneath was what you saw pictured above, a partial nail that is quite horny and yellow on the lower right and not tightly attached; it seems to grow outward rather than lie flat. I had an acrylic nail put on when I had to be very public for a couple of weeks; otherwise I’ve mainly kept a bandaid over it so that I won’t keep hitting it and also because it’s so ugly."

Note:  A KOH scraping was negative and fungal culture was taken

Six month Follow-up.
The culture grew out (Scopulariopsis), a saprophytic fungus and the patient has been using topical Tea Tree oil.  There has been marked improvement.  We recommend continued conservative management.  The nail did not continue to do well and the patient took terbinafine 250 mg a day for 3 month (no benefit).

January 2017
The patient's nail now shows signs of onycholysis.  It now has a green color indicative of "chloronychia." This is probably psudomonas.  She has had a nail dystrophy now for ~ two years. I think probably best to treat for pseudomonas, but the patient is wondering if her nail should be removed.

February 24, 2017
Dermatoscopy of Nail Fragment
photomic of Scopularopsis (from WWW)

The nail was pared back.
The patient will apply 40% urea cream to the nail plate and bed and tape the surrounding area.
She will use topical gentamycin and a topical antifungal.

This is the appearance six weeks after nail trimmed back which was followed up by topical gentamycin for pseudomonas, Jublia, and one pulse of itraconazole (400 mg daily for seven days)  Two more pulses are planned.


What would be the best topical antifungal available in the U.S. for this patient?
Is there a role for a different systemic antifungal, such as itraconazole? (Terbinafine was not successful)
What role does the taping play?


Myung Hoon Lee, M.D., et. al. Ann Dermatol. 2012 May; 24(2): 209–213.  Free Full Text.

2. Anchor Taping Method per Dr. Hiroko Arai.

3. Onychomycosis caused by Scopulariopsis brevicaulis: report of two cases.
Lee MH1, Hwang SM, Suh MK, Ha GY, Kim H, Park JY.  PMC Full Text
Ann Dermatol. 2012 May;24(2):209-13.
Abstract: Onychomycosis is usually caused by dermatophytes, but some nondermatophytic molds and yeasts are also associated with invasion of nails. Scopulariopsis brevicaulis is a nondermatophytic mold found in soil as a saprophyte. We report two cases of onychomycosis caused by S. brevicaulis in a 48-year-old male and a 79-year-old female. The two patients presented with a typical distal and lateral subungual onychomycosis. Direct microscopic examination of the potassium hydroxide preparation revealed fungal elements. From toenail lesions of the patients, brown colonies with powdery surface, which are a characteristic of S. brevicaulis, were cultured on two Sabouraud's dextrose agar plates. Three cultures taken from nail plates within a 2-week interval yielded similar findings. Numerous branched conidiophores with chains of rough walled, lemon-shaped conidia were observed in slide culture by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer for the two clinical isolates were identical to that of S. brevicaulis strain WM 04.498. To date, a total of 13 cases of S. brevicaulis onychomycosis including the two present cases have been reported in Korea. Mean age of the patients was 46.1 years, with a higher prevalence in males (69.2%). Toenail involvement was observed in all cases including a case involving both fingernail and toenail. The most frequent clinical presentation was distal and lateral subungual onychomycosis in 12 cases, while one case was proximal subungual onychomycosis.