Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Distal Onycholysis

Abstract: 76 yo retired nurse with a 1 year history of nail dystrophy.

History: This 76 yo retired registered nurse had distal onycholysis of her right thumb nail a little over a year ago. It eventually "spread" to involve all finger nails. Her medications include lorazepam, citalopram, Premarin and thyroid. All have been taken for many years. She has not used acrylic nails for more than five years. No unusual trauma, but she does use a nail file now. She was seen for around a year by a provider who was treating her with ciclopirox. The patient admits to being very anxious and plays with her nails.

O/E.: The patient is a pleasant, well-groomed woman who appears anxious and concerned. She has distal onycholysis of all finger nails. Toe nails are normal. Scant subungual debris.
Clinical Photos:

Lab: Three KOH preps negative. Fungal cultures were obtained 30 July, 2008.
Pathology: A "few" fungal elements were reported on PASD stained clipping of an affected nail

Diagnosis: Distal onycholysis. I am leaning away from onychomycosis. This would be an unusual presentation. I think this will likely be traumatic onycholysis.

Therapy: Pending culture report, I initiated therapy with 15% sulfactamide in ethanol twice daily. She was asked not to use a nail file and to clip separated portions of nails every day or so. Also, keep hands out of water as much as possible.

Questions: What are your thoughts? Any further work-up?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Skin Cancer Observation from Baghdad

Case presentation by:
Professor Khalifa Sharquie,
Baghdad, Iraq

I have had the opportunity to see many cases of skin grafting on the face after excision of multiple skin solar keratosis and skin malignancy. Some of these have been in patients with xeroderma pigmentosa (XP). The grafts remained free of actinic disease and have stayed clear for many years, in some cases for more than 20 years. I have never observed them to develop solar damage, solar keratosis or malignancy.

Today, I am presenting one of these cases. A 65 yo man with history of marked sun damage since early life. During the course of his illness, he has developed frequent and multiple solar keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma. Positive family history was seen in his son. Excisions and graftings have been carried out for big cancers since 1982 but he has never developed any solar damage or skin malignancy in the grafts.

1. Is it justifiable to excise the skin of such patients with multiple keratosis and malignancies, especially in patients with XP early in life as a part of preventive measures against skin malignancy especially malignant melanoma.
2. What is the mechanism behind this odd observation. Could fibroblasts of the graft share in prevention?
3. Is there any role in the use of imiquimod in these patients? (last question from DJ Elpern)