Sunday, December 20, 2009

Follicular Mucinosis?

Abstract: 27 yo woman with 6 month history of plaques face
HPI: This 27 year-old baker has asymptomatic plaques on the right cheek for six months. She has not been treated as yet.
O/E: Two ill-defined plaques on right cheek. There is a suggestion that follicular openings are dilated.
Clinical Photos:
One can compare the right and left cheeks. Dermoscopic image as well.
Normal left cheek on left, affected right cheek on right.

The image to the right is taken through a dermoscope.
I believe it shows dilated follicular openings.
I am not sure this has been reported.

Diagnosis: Possible Follicular mucinosis

Questions: Do you think this young woman should have a biopsy? Should she be observed? Treated?

Gorpelioglu C, Sarifakioglu E, Bayrak R. A case of follicular mucinosis treated successfully with pimecrolimus. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2009 Jan;34(1):86-7.
This paper describes a 24 yo man with biopsy proven follicular mucinosis who was successfully treated with pimecrolimus.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Acneiform Eruption in an 11 year-old boy

Abstract: 11 y.o. boy with localized papular dermatitis of face

HPI: This 11 yo boy has a 2 month history of a facial eruption. Initially, his mother applied Bacitracin ointment. It was not effective and they then used a prescription "hydrocortisone" ointment for a few weeks which was similarly unhelpful. Good general health. He takes Adderal for ADHD.

O/E: There are erythematous acneiform papules around the right alar groove. Face is otherwise clear.

Clinical Photos

Labs: N/A

Clinical Diagnosis: My first thought is that this may be a variant of perioral dermatitis. Prior to puberty, P.O.D. is seen in both sexes. We see women with "perialar dermatitis" which is usually bilateral but can look like this. In the differential diagnosis one would consider Demodicois and atypical acne. Perhaps, I should have done a scraping for demodex mites.
Alternatively, this could be the onset of acne vulgaris, localized at this early stage. Perhaps, I jumped at a zebra when this is just common acne.

Therapy: The patient was given a prescription for doxycycline 100 mg b.i.d. and ketoconazole cream which I have found to be effective for perialar dermatiis. He will be reevaluated in a month.

Questions: Do you think this is periorificial dermatitis, demodicosis, or atypical acne? Your comments will be appreciated.

1. Nguyen V, Eichenfield LF. Periorificial dermatitis in children and adolescents. Volume 55, Issue 5, Pages 781-785 (November 2006)
There has been very little evaluation of the history, morphology, or disease course of perioral/periorificial dermatitis in children.
Objective: We sought to elucidate the clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes in this condition.Methods A retrospective chart review with telephone follow-up was used to study 79 children and adolescents. Results: Patients ranged from 6 months to 18 years of age. The average duration of the rash at presentation was 8 months. Seventy-two percent had a history of topical, inhaled, or systemic steroid exposure. Seventy percent of patients had perioral involvement, 43% perinasal, and 25% periocular involvement. A perivulvar rash was reported in 1% of patients. Treatment with topical metronidazole was associated with clearing on follow-up examination.
Limitations: This is a retrospective study without case controls and is subject to interviewer and memory bias. Conclusion: Perioral dermatitis appears at all ages in childhood and adolescence and may be associated with topical corticosteroid use. It may be responsive to topical metronidazole in children and adolescents and is more appropriately termed periorificial dermatitis.

2. Hsu CK, Hsu MM, Lee JY. Demodicosis: a clinicopathological study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Mar;60(3):453-62.
Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.
BACKGROUND: Demodex mites are common commensal organisms of the pilosebaceous unit in human beings and have been implicated in pityriasis folliculorum, rosacea-like demodicosis, and demodicosis gravis. OBJECTIVE: We sought to describe the spectrum of clinicopathological findings and therapeutic responses of demodicosis in Taiwanese patients. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study to review clinicopathologic findings and therapeutic responses of 34 cases of diagnosed demodicosis. RESULTS: Fifteen cases with positive results of potassium hydroxide examination, standardized skin surface biopsy specimen, and/or skin biopsy specimen, and resolution of skin lesions after anti-Demodex treatment were included for final analysis. Nineteen cases were excluded because of insufficient positive data to make a definite diagnosis. There were 4 male and 11 female patients (age 1-64 years, mean age 38.7 years). The disease was recurrent or chronic with a duration ranging from 2 months to 5 years (mean 15.7 months). The skin lesions were acne rosacea-like (n = 8), perioral dermatitis-like (n = 5), granulomatous rosacea-like (n = 1), and pityriasis folliculorum (n = 1). Skin biopsy was performed in 7 patients. Overall, the histopathology was characterized by: (1) dense perivascular and perifollicular lymphohistiocytic infiltrates, often with abundant neutrophils and occasionally with multinucleated histiocytes; (2) excessive Demodex mites in follicular infundibula; and (3) infundibular pustules containing mites or mites in perifollicular inflammatory infiltrate. The skin lesions resolved after treatment including systemic metronidazole, topical metronidazole, crotamiton, or gamma benzene hexachloride. LIMITATIONS: Small sample size and a fraction of patients without long-term follow-up are limitations. CONCLUSION: Demodicosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of recurrent or recalcitrant rosacea-like, granulomatous rosacea-like, and perioral dermatitis-like eruptions of the face. Potassium hydroxide examination, standardized skin surface biopsy, skin biopsy, or a combination of these are essential to establish the diagnosis.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Does this ring a bell?

HPI: The patient is a 36 yo woman on home hemodialysis after a failed renal transplant for membraneous glomerulonephtritis who was referred by her rheumatologist for a "stat" skin biopsy. She sees the rheumatologist for amyloid nephropathy.

Shs is having the second episode of a painful erythematous eruption on the dorsum of the left foot. The first episode, two months ago, resolved after two weeks of Keflex and Bactrim.

Meds: Oxycontin, prednisone 20 mg daily, Keflex (x 4 days)

O/E: This is an upbeat but chronically ill woman. The pertinent findings are on the legs. There is dusky erythema on the dorsum of the left foot. In addition, there are petechaie on both lower extremities. She has a 2/6 pansystolic murmur which the rheumatologist feels is cardiac but her nephrologist feels radiates from her dialysis shunt (left arm).

Clinical Photos:

Labs: CBC: WBC 8900 normal differential. Creatinine 11.32 (normal < 1.2 mg%")
Biopsy: Performed today

: Second episode of an erythematous process left foot. Although this was treated initially as "cellulitis" no real evidence of infection. This does not look infectious to me. I wonder about an embolic phenomenon. I know I have not seen this before.

What is your presumptive diagnosis?
What more would you do at this time?
(On thinking about this patient, and the recurrence, the question of Fixed Drug Eruption arose. I will question her about intermittent prescription and OTC drug use.)

I will give F/U re: bx findings.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Post-Bypass Dermatitis

Presented by Professor Khalifa Sharquie
Baghdad, Iraq

HPI: A 58 year old patient developed sudden heart infarction that needed urgent bypass heart surgery in March of 2009. Left saphenous vein was used as graft. The patient was otherwise healthy apart from developed a rash on the left leg along the incision scar. The rash is nonpruritic and red in color ranging in size from pinpoint to 2 cm in diameter. This gradually enlarges in size and stop, then slowly resolves without therapy leaving residual pigmentation or scar within few weeks. The rash appear only on one side of the incision but never cross. The patient's medications include simvastatin and lisinopril therapy.

On examination: 2 red patches appeared 15 days ago. They were scaly and psoriasiform from about 1 cm to 2 cm in diameter. Within 2 days they started to resolve, losing their scales and becoming dusky red in color. In addition,there are numerous small varicosities along the legs and feet.

Biopsy could not be done for fear of developing a leg ulcer.
Lab: All investigations are normal including blood picture,ESR and biochemistry.

Clinical Photos:

Discussion: I have not seen any case similar to this patient. So I wonder if this is what has been rarely reported in the literature. (see reference) I am waiting my colleagues comments.


Arch Dermatol. 1993 May;129(5):609-12.
Saphenous vein graft donor site dermatitis. Case reports and literature review. Hruza LL, Hruza GJ.Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo.BACKGROUND--Coronary artery bypass grafting for atherosclerotic heart disease is commonly performed throughout the world. Complications of coronary artery bypass grafting include saphenous neuralgia due to injury to the saphenous nerve duringharvest of the saphenous vein. Dermatologic complications of coronaryrevascularization are infrequently reported and include an eruption overlying the vein donor-site scar. OBSERVATIONS--We describe two cases of saphenous vein donorsite dermatitis associated with sensory peripheral neuropathy in the distributionof the dermatitis. Histopathologic studies revealed a subacute spongiotic dermatitis. The course of the eruption was characterized by exacerbations and remissions with gradual resolution of both the dermatitis and neuropathy over a1- to 2-year period. CONCLUSIONS--Our cases are unique because the dermatitis developed in the area of the neurologic changes. We propose that the dermatitis may be a trophic change secondary to saphenous neuralgia.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Atypical plaque on the hand

Submitted by Dr Henry Foong, Ipoh, Malaysia

An 80-year-old retired goldsmith presented with 4-month history of an ulcerated plaque on the left hand. It had gradually increased in size. His past medical history included hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and ischemic heart disease. His medications included norvasc, zocor, ticlid and amaryl.

Examination of the skin showed a localized ulcerated verrucous plaque 6 x 6 cm on the dorsum of the left hand. Closer examination showed slough and blackish dots on the surface of the plaque. Regional nodes were not enlarged.

Our presumptive diagnosis is either atypical mycobacterium infection or chromoblastomycosis.

The epithelium shows pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia. The upper dermis is densely infiltrated by acute and chronic inflammatory cells. Neutrophils are also noted in the lining epithelium. No granulomas or Langhan's giant cells are seen. No microorganisms are noted. Negative for dysplasia and malignancy. Ziehl-Neelsen stain for acid fast bacilli is negative. Periodic acid Schiff stain for fungi is negative. Culture for AFB and fungal organism were negative

He was initially treated with itraconazole 100mg bd and after 2 weeks there was no improvement at all. Bactrim 2 tab daily was added and this time it showed improvement after 2 weeks of the combination.

One of the differential that was considered is pustular vasculitis or neutrophilic dermatosis of the dorsum of the hands. Points supporting this diagnosis include pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia and the absences of granuloma on histology examination.

I suspect this could be atypical mycobacterium infection based on the empirical therapeutic response to bactrim. I wonder what your views are with regard to this case?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Annals of Puzzling Purpuras

Percussion Purpura -- Taiko Purpura
Submitted by Trudi Shim
, San Antonio, Texas

History: The patient is a 63 year-old Japanese-Hawaiian woman who plays Taiko drums as a hobby. She has a past history of porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) from estrogens which is now quiescent. A few years back, she developed tendonitis of her wrists and received cortisone injections near each wrist from two different physicians. When she developed a hypopigmented patch of skin on her right forearm she attributed it to the cortisone injection. The patch was characterized by an large, flat, smooth area of hypopigmentation, and occasionally some round, bright red spots appeared in the hypopigmented area. They would disappear after a week or two. She consulted a dermatologist a year ago because she worried that this might be contagious. He diagnosed tinea, but did no KOH prep and she has been faithfully applying clotrimazole ever since, but without relief. The dermatologist also raised the spectre of Hansen's Disease which worried the patient, a retired public health nurse, greatly. She does not have any known skin problems elsewhere on her body at this time.

On Examination: The patch is now predominately reddish in color, with sharp irregular borders. The skin is fragile in the sense that if she hits her arm against something, it will break and take a while to heal. - similar to what used to happen way back when she had PCT. This only occurs in the localized area of hypopigmentation.

Clinical Photos:
Patient and Taiko

Discussion: This case presentation contains some interesting points. The patient is a late middle-aged Japanese-Hawaiian woman who has lived in the sub-tropics for her entire life. Thus, she has a fair amount of solar elastosis. The intra-articular corticosteroid most likely caused more localized atrophy and the trauma the arm experienced doing heavy drumming was all she needed to cause purpura. The diagnosis of tinea without a KOH prep showed a certain cavalier approach on the part of her practitioner; and the suggestion of the possibility of Hansen's Disease should not have been made unless a biopsy followed. Leprosy in economically comfortable people born in Hawaii is very unusual. Most cases seen in the Hawaiian Islands today are in immigrants from the Philippines, Oceania and Southeast Asia. Purpura is not a usual finding, but rather a hypopigmented anesthetic plaque (tuberculoid leprosy). Lepromatous leprosy would often appear more dramatically. The patient's PCT is likely not related, but she should have regular liver function studies and ferritin levels looked at. In the absence of other findings urinary porphyrins may not be necessary. "Percussion Purpura" while likely not super rare, has not been reported before.

Comments: Your thoughts and questions will be most welcome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parastomal Ulceration

Presented by Amanda Oakley, Hamilton, NZ

The patient is a 44 year old man with parastomal ulceration over the last 12 months.
He had a stable stoma for 12 years, following colostomy to remove rectal tumour (carcinoid) and is healthy otherwise with no bowel problems and no skin disease elsewhere.

Last year he received IV antibiotics for peristomal cellulitis, with complete recovery. A month or so later the peristomal skin began ulcerating. Partial healing is followed by skin lifting off at bag changes alternate days, leaving painful ulceration. Meticulous hygiene resulted in no improvement with different devices or topical steroid for one month, applied as beclomethasone nasal spray. Now trying clobetasol solution on appliance, allowed to dry before fitting to skin. He is on no medications.

Swab: group G streptococcus on two swabs - no deep fungi or mycobacteria.
Blood screen: all normal - no sign carcinoid or other disease

Clinical Photos (July '09 (top) and February '09 bottom):

Histology: paucicellular; subepidermal clefting. Not diagnostic.

Dr. Oakley's Comments: Most stomal rashes are dealt with by stoma nurses and a dermatologist's opinion is rarely sought; so we don't see many of them. I see irritant dermatitis from time to time and it responds to topical steroids. He has no risk factors for pyoderma gangrenosum, and the histology is not typical of that.

Questions: Could group G streptococcus do this? There is no cellulitis or abscess formation and I have prescribed antibiotics without improvement.
Any suggestions re: diagnosis and treatment will be gratefully received! I am hoping some dermatologists have greater exposure to stomal disease and I can benefit from their experience.

Yeo H, Abir F, Longo WE. Management of parastomal ulcers.
World J Gastroenterol. 2006 28;12(20):3133-7.
Management of surgically placed ostomies is an important aspect of any general surgical or colon and rectal surgery practice. Complications with surgically placed ostomies are common and their causes are multifactorial. Parastomal ulceration, although rare, is a particularly difficult management problem. We conducted a literature search using MD Consult, Science Direct, OVID, Medline, and Cochrane Databases to review the causes and management options of parastomal ulceration. Both the etiology and treatments are varied. Different physicians and ostomy specialists have used a large array of methods to manage parastomal ulcers; these including local wound care; steroid creams; systemic steroids; and, when conservative measures fail, surgery. Most patients with parastomal ulcers who do not have associated IBD or peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum (PPG) often respond quickly to local wound care and conservative management. Patients with PPG, IBD, or other systemic causes of their ulceration need both systemic and local care and are more likely to need long term treatment and possibly surgical revision of the ostomy. The treatment is complicated, but improved with the help of ostomy specialists. Note: This reference is available as free full text from the publisher.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Localized Bullae

This healthy 83 year-old man has had a one year history of bullae and vesicles on the medial aspect of the left knee. They come and go. He is on no new medications and does not take any drugss on an as necessary or intermittent basis. His medications consist of valsartan (Diovan), simvastatin and omeprazole (Prilosec).

O/E: A collection of vesicles and bullae left knee.

Clinical Photo:

Lab and Path:
Bacterial Culture 8/14/o9 Negative
Biopsies were done by two other dermatologists (will try to get results). Apparently, no firm diagnosis was made.

Path Report: 9/30/08 Perivascular and interstitial dermatitis with mixed cell infiltrate including eosiniphils. Dermal hypersensitivity reaction. "These findings may be seen in the prebullous lesions of pemphigoid." DIF was negative.

Consider localized bullous pemphigoid.

Discussion: This is an 82 yo man with a one year history of a localized bullous disorder. The initial pathology showed an inflammatory process with eosinophils. The bullous process has stayed localized to the left knee. It seems likely that this is localized bullous pemphigoid. There is a "pretibial variant" and this may be related. Apparently, many of these patients have negative direct immunofluorescence (See ref. below)
Plan to treat initially with clobetasol ointment and if does well follow with tactolimus ointment 0.1%.

Questions: What do you think? What else is in your differential diagnosis? Therapeutic options?

Kurzhals G, et. al. [Localized cicatricial bullous
pemphigoid of the Brunsting-Perry type] Hautartz.
1993 Feb;44(2):110-3 [Article in German]
Localized cicatricial pemphigoid of the Brunsting-
Perry type is a very rare bullous condition, which
has so far been reported in 51 cases. It is
characterized by scarring blisters confined to the
head, scalp and neck. Diagnosis can be difficult
because of the discrete skin lesions, often repeatedly
false-negative direct immunofluorescence, and the
absence of circulating antibodies. We report on a
87-year-old male patient with the typical clinical
feature of a cicatricial pemphigoid of the Brunsting-
Perry type and give a reviewof the 51 cases published
in the world literature.

Follow-up Photo (08/21/09): The patient was seen after a week for a second visit. No
treatment had been rendered and the bullae had resolved. One wonders
what triggers the bullae? He's a tennis player, so could it be minor
trauma, UVL?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tan Papules in a Child

Abstract: Eight year old boy with six month hx of tan macules

HPI: This otherwise healthy boy has had a six-month history of asymptomatic tan macules on his torso. Takes no meds by mouth and is asymptomatic.

O/E: Six - eight smooth surfaced tan macules measuring from 5 mm to 15 mm in diameter on torso. After lesions are rubbed they urticate mildly and are faint pink. Dermographia is negative.




Friday, July 17, 2009

Photodermatitis in a Teenage Girl

Abstract: 8 yr history of photodermatitis in a 17 yo girl

This 17 yo student has an 8 year history of a summer eruption. She has a pruritic eruption of her hands and distal forearms starting in spring and lasting till late fall. In winter her skin is perfectly normal. She has used triamcinalone 0.1% ointment without relief and similarly has not been helped with sunscreens.

O/E: Mild lichenification and a fine micro-papular eruption on the dorsum of the hands. A few serum crusts. No vesicles or h/o vesicles.

Photos (7/16/09)

Note no facial lesions

Diagnosis: Atypical Photodermatitis in a teenaged girl. Consider PCT, Hydroa variant, photoactivated atopoic dermatitis (nothing fits perfectly at this time)

Plan: 24 hour urine for porphyrins. Broad spectrum sunscreen for hands and clobetasol ointment after a 20 minute soak. Not sure biopsy will be helpful, but will do at next visit. PCT would be unusual but the porphyrias need to be ruled out.

Comments and suggestions?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Recurrent Toxic Erythema vx. Cellulitis

H.P.I. The patient is a 70 yo woman who has had ~ 10 episodes of a cellulitis-like picture of her legs over the past ten years. She has never had fever or constitutional signs. The process can affect one or both lower extremities. I saw her in 2001 for this and then she was referred by the emergency room yesterday with the same picture. It began with a fall two days ago. She hit her hip -- was in pain and took ibuprofen before this episode. She said she does not recall taking this before other episodes.

O/E: Patchy, fiery erythema of left lower extremity. Very mild erythems of right lower leg (mostly around the ankle).

Clinical Photos:

Labs: Biopsy obtained and CBC ordered

Diagnosis: Is this an atypical cellulitis, or toxic erythema secondary to and NSAID?

If the patient remains afebrile and wbc is normal, I'd be inclined to just watch and wait.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Unusual Pigmentation of Legs

The patient is a healthy 51 yo woman with a 5 - 6 year history of asymptomatic progressive hyperpigmentation of the legs. She is in good general health and takes no medications by mouth. The process started on the calves and has spread proximally to the knees. She has rosacea in addition. She thinks her father has a similar problem.

O/E: Both legs from just above the ankles to the knees show punctate hyperpigmentation. The skin here has a slightly pebbly feel. Other than erythematous papules on both cheeks, the remainder of the cutaneous exam is normal. (There is no sclerodactyly, telangiectasas or sclerotic changes).

Affected skin

Digital Zoom

Normal Skin (adjacent)

Dermoscopic Image

Lab: Biopsies of affected and normal skin were taken.

Diagnosis: Punctate Hyperpigmentation of the Legs. This does not look like the "salt and pepper" picture of scleroderma. Could this be an unusual genodermatosis?

Plan: Present to VGRD. Perhaps get serologies for scleroderma.

References: Nothing helpful found on PubMed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Amytrophic (?) Dermatomyositis

Presented by Henry Foong
Ipoh, Malaysia

HPI: A 82 yr old housewife presented with 6 month history of skin eruptions on her face, neck and hands. They were aggravated with exposure to sun. She was diagnosed with carcinoma of the stomach in 2007 and completed chemotherapy about 3 months ago. While on chemotherapy she noticed weakness in getting up and putting on her shirt. She has improved since then. She has a history of diabetes mellitus, and IHD for more than 10 years.

O/E: Pertinent findings: bilateral and symmetrical erythematous macules and plaques on the dorsum of the PIP, DIO and MCP jpints. They have a violaceous hue and were non tender. Erythematous discoloration was noted
bilaterally and symmetrically around the eyes, nose and forehead.


TWBC 5,500
CK 41 U/l (<201) style="font-weight: bold;">Clinical Diagnosis: Dermatomyositis in Ca stomach
Could this be amytrophic dermatomyositis?
ANA + 1:320 Speckled and homogeneous

Questions: How would you proceed? Would you do a skin biopsy?
Would you treat her? Oral prednisolone or plaquenil alone?

Reference: (from Dr. Jeff Callen

Dermatomyositis sine myositis, also known as amyopathic dermatomyositis, is diagnosed in patients with typical cutaneous disease in whom no evidence of muscle weakness exists and in whom serum muscle enzyme levels are repeatedly normal for a 2-year period in the absence of disease-modifying therapies such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, or both. When studied, some patients with amyopathic dermatomyositis have abnormal ultrasound, MRI or magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or muscle biopsy findings. These patients have muscle involvement, and their condition may be better classified as hypomyopathic dermatomyositis. Patients with these variations may also reflect an underlying malignancy, and some develop severe pulmonary disease, particularly persons from Asian countries.
Patients exist in whom myositis resolves following therapy but whose skin disease remains as an active, important feature of the disease. These patients are not classified as having amyopathic dermatomyositis, despite the fact that, at this point in time, the skin is the major and often only manifestation of the disease. Sontheimer has suggested the term postmyopathic dermatomyositis for these patients.

Therapy for the cutaneous disease is often difficult. Patients who present primarily with skin disease (amyopathic dermatomyositis) and those in whom the muscle component is controlled but who still have significant skin disease exist. The first-line of therapy is recognizing that the patient is photosensitive and advising the patient to avoid sun exposure and to use sun protective measures, including broad-spectrum sunscreens. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been beneficial in small open-label case studies. Methotrexate is also useful. Mycophenolate mofetil has been reported to be useful. IvIg not only benefited the muscle but also cleared the skin lesions in the patients in whom it was used. Rituximab has been used for skin disease, but the results are mixed. Efalizumab has been used and may have some benefit. Efalizumab (Raptiva), a drug indicated for psoriasis, is being withdrawn from the US market and will no longer be available after June 8, 2009, because of potential risk for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is a rapidly progressive infection of the central nervous system caused by the JC virus that leads to death or severe disability. Demyelination associated with PML is a result from the JC virus infection. JC virus belongs to the genus Polyomavirus of the Papovaviridae.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lyme Tick

This 60 yo man came in for a skin cancer check. He had a basal cell removed from his forehead two years ago. The exam was negative until I checked his leg and noted a funny looking lesion. On closer examination, I realized it was a tick. It's head was embedded in the patient's leg. I removed the tick and gave the patient 200 mg. of doxycycline. This latter might be unnecessary, but a study published in the NEJM gives support to this fairly benign prophylaxis.

Prophylaxis with single-dose doxycycline for the prevention of Lyme disease after
an Ixodes scapularis tick bite.

Nadelman RB, wt. al. Tick Bite Study Group.

Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla 10595, USA.

BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether antimicrobial treatment after an Ixodes scapularis tick bite will prevent Lyme disease. METHODS: In an area of New York where Lyme disease is hyperendemic we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of treatment with a single 200-mg dose of doxycycline in 482 subjects who had removed attached I. scapularis ticks from their bodies within the previous 72 hours. At base line, three weeks, and six weeks, subjects were interviewed and examined, and serum antibody tests were performed, along with blood cultures for Borrelia burgdorferi. Entomologists confirmed the species of the ticks and classified them according to sex, stage, and degree of engorgement. RESULTS: Erythema migrans developed at the site of the tick bite in a significantly smaller proportion of the subjects in the doxycycline group than of those in the placebo group (1 of 235 subjects [0.4 percent] vs. 8 of 247 subjects [3.2 percent], P<0.04). p="0.02)" p="0.02)." style="font-weight: bold;">CONCLUSIONS: A single 200-mg dose of doxycycline given within 72 hours after an I. scapularis tick bite can prevent the development of Lyme disease.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Abdominal Sinuses in a 23 yo Man

Three month history of draining sinuses lower abdomen.

HPI: This college student developed abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea in August of 2008. A diagnosis of ulcerative colitis was made and a number of theapies were tried (including prednisone and Remicaid). All were ineffective and he had a subtotal colectomy and ileostomy performed in December of 2008. Subsequent to that he continues to have some pain in the rectal stump and is scheduled for a J-pouch procedure in a few weeks. Three months ago, he developed painful draining tracts in the lower abdomen.

O/E: The patient is a healthy-appearing 23 yo man. The cutaneous findings are 5 - 10 mm in diameter sinus tracts with sero-sanguinous drainage. There are four active lesions at this time. The remainder of the cutaneous exam is negative.

Photos: (June 9, 2009)

Lab and Path: Nil

Diagnosis: Could this be an extra-intestinal manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease? This is more common with Crohn's disease than U.C. My working diagnosis is sinus tracts or abdomino-cutaneous fistulae. The patient was referred for the question of pyoderma gangrenosum. If this is P.g., it is a very atypical case.

Has anyone seen and treated a similar patient?
He is scheduled to have a resection of the rectal stump with a re-anastamosis of small bowel to the rectum allowing closure of his ileostomy (I am not sure of exact procedure). Perhaps this will help. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


A Dermatologic Vignette.

The patient is a 78 yo woman with a few year history of an enlarging lesion on the nasal tip. Excellent health.

Eight mm in diameter pearly papule nasal tip. Clinically and dermoscopically BCC.

Pathology shows this to be a trichoeoithelioma:

Question: Observe, refer to Mohs, radiate?
Would surgery be deforming in this site? vs. Is radiotherapy overkill?

Reference: There are very few references which address this type of lesion, unless we consider this to be like a BCC. But here is one.

Aygun C, Blum JE. Trichoepithelioma 100 years later: a case report supporting the use of radiotherapy. Dermatology. 1993;187(3):209-12.
Trichoepitheliomas are rare skin tumors which can cause significant cosmetic and functional impairment when they occur in the head and neck area. Multiple methods of treatment including plastic surgery, dermabrasion, cryosurgery and laser surgery have been reported in the literature. A 32-year-old male with multiple coalesced lesions in his ear canals was treated with radiation therapy after he failed more conventional methods of treatment. He is free of tumor in the radiated area 17.5 months after treatment with significant functional improvement. Various aspects of this tumor were reviewed. More data are still needed to define the proper place for radiation in the management of this disease.

Remember Dorinda and Walter Shelley's poem:
Who knows
Who's nose
Needs Mohs

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp

Abstract: 18 yo man with three year history of cystic lesions scalp, axillae, chin

HPI: This 18 year-old man has had dissecting cellulitis of the scalp for three years. He has been treated with doxycycline 100 mg b.i.d. and excisions of cysts and sinuses by a plastic surgeon. He presented in May of 2009 for another opinion. He has had a few cysts of the axillae and chin. The patient has observed that his scalp is worse after wearing a helmet for football.

O/E: The patient is a healthy, moderately obese African-American teenager. He has painful cysts, nodules and draining sinuses mostly on the occipital portion of the scalp and around the vertex. He has a hypertrophic scar at the site of an excision in the occipital region. He has a few hyperpigmented nodules in the axillae and some small acne cysts on his chin in the bearded area.

Clinical Photos:

Lab: Nil
Path: Nil

Diagnosis: Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp in the setting of Follicular Triad Syndrome. An older name for the scalp process is the hard to remember "Perifolliculitis Capitis Abscedens et Suffodiens

Treatment: To date, only doxycycline 100 mg b.i.d. and frequent excisions by a plastic surgeon. I injected some active lesions with triamcinalone acetonide 10 mg/cc and am considering following the rifampicin and isotretinoin protocol reported in the reference below.

Reason Presented: For therapeutic suggestions

1. Georgala S, et al. Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp treated with rifampicin and isotretinoin: case reports. Cutis. 2008 Sep;82(3):195-8.

Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp, or perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens, is an uncommon chronic suppurative disease of the scalp manifested by follicular and perifollicular inflammatory nodules that suppurate and undermine, forming intercommunicating sinuses, and leading to scarring alopecia. Treatment generally fails to obtain a permanently successful result; thus, many therapeutic options have been proposed. We report 4 cases of dissecting cellulitis of the scalp successfully treated with oral rifampicin and oral isotretinoin. To our knowledge, this is the first report of oral rifampicin used concomitantly with oral isotretinoin in this disease entity. We also present a brief review of the literature on the topic.

2. Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp chapter

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Teledermatology Rules: Vasculitis

Abstract: 2o yo man with one week history of palpable purpura.
HPI: This 20 yo college student was started on isotretinoin for severe cystic acne a month before he developed a rash on his legs. He also had an upper respiratory infection two weeks before the eruption began. He is away at school (a two hour drive). His mother called the office and spoke to my secretary. Busy week. When I heard that he had a rash, I relayed the message that it was probably the common dermatitis we see with patients on isotretinoin and if worried to send me a photo. Two days later, this photo was sent:

The patient was then emailed and asked to come in the next day. Labs were ordered done before the visit.

O/E: Palpable purpura both L.E. Right ankle swollen and tender. Patient limping.

Lab: CBC normal, UA normal. Pending Labs: Throat culture, ANA, ASOT. (Hep C, Stool for OB, not ordered)

Path: Biopsy performed. Not back

Diagnosis: Leucocytoclastic vasculitis. Etiology: The URI, isotretinoin, idiopathic

Plan: Rest for a few days. No specific therapy at this time except stopping the isotretinoin. If he improves uneventfully without evidence of GI or renal involvement will offer a re-challenge with isotretinoin.

Discussion: A few cases of LCV have been reported with isotretinoin. This patient has severe cystic acne with scarring and it would be a shame to withhold drug if it were not putative for the LCV. I admit I did not pay proper attention to the first telephone call. This illustrates the power of teledermatology which can be almost standard in a few years as cell phone cameras become better and people know how to use them more adroitly.

Questions: What are your thoughts and suggestions?