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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Dermatology Online Journal is an open-access, refereed publication intended to meet reference and education needs of the international dermatology community since 1995. Dermatology Online Journal is supported by the Department of Dermatology UC Davis, and by the Northern California Veterans Administration.

Volume 30, Issue 3, 2024


Acne vulgaris in black pediatric patients: clinical presentation, treatment patterns, and unique needs

Acne vulgaris is a common dermatological diagnosis observed in pediatric patients with skin of color, often resulting in scarring, keloid formation, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, significantly impacting their quality of life. This exploratory retrospective chart review included 77 black pediatric patients seen at a tertiary care center for acne vulgaris between 2018 and 2023. We analyzed demographics, acne descriptors, and treatment modalities. The most common acne morphology was comedonal acne (83.6%), with 71% of the patients being female. Significant age differences were observed particularly for acne at the chin and overall face. Treatment regimens commonly prescribed included combinations of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide (22%), topical antibiotics, tretinoin, and benzoyl peroxide (34%). Given the higher risk of sequelae for patients with darker skin, it is crucial to address their unique treatment needs. This study highlights the distinctive characteristics of acne in black pediatric patients and calls for further research to enhance our understanding and treatment of this population. Limitations include the lack of direct patient interactions and reliance on chart data. Further studies are needed to compare acne presentation in skin of color of other populations, refining our knowledge of acne clinical presentation, complications, and treatment modalities for diverse patient populations.


A practical classification scale for the dermatology management of individuals with skin of color: the colorimetric scale for skin of color

A simple and rapid method that is not based on race and ethnicity for classifying people with skin of color is of paramount importance in dermatology. The currently used Fitzpatrick classification of sun-reactive skin types is inadequate. Newer scales that have been used in immigration surveys and sociology studies are not applicable in the office setting. A new, non-racial and non-ethnic, colorimetric scale for skin of color has recently been proposed that is simple to perform. The scale has five colors: very light beige (skin color type 1), light brown (skin color type 2), medium brown (skin color type 3), dark brown (skin color type 4) and very dark brown (skin color type 5); an individual with white skin, such as in albinism, would have a skin color type 0 in this classification. In conclusion, the colorimetric scale enables the rapid classification of individuals with skin of color and allows for accurate assessment of skin cancer risk, more appropriate management of cosmetic dermatologic procedures and aesthetic devices, and enhanced ability for focused counseling regarding hair products, skin care interventions, and color-targeted makeup based on the person's skin tone.

Improving patient retention of medical information: lessons from the contact dermatitis clinic

Medical communication skills are widely recognized as important, especially for situations in which providers must present complex and detailed information. Although much research focuses on how providers can improve their delivery of medical information, an equally important part of communication is supporting patient retention of the information. We present several methods to improve patient retention of medical information that we have found successful in an allergic contact dermatitis clinic. Some recommendations address information transfer (follow effective structure, teach to different learning styles, provide written instructions, employ the teach-back method). Other methods are effective, focusing on the patient's emotional, social, and relational needs (include storytelling, metaphor, and analogy, allay negative emotions, listen deeply/know your patient). This list is not exhaustive, but we have found these methods effective when counseling patients with allergic contact dermatitis. Patient retention of medical information is an important part of effective health care, benefits both the provider and the patient, and is applicable to every medical practice.

Case Report

Recalcitrant multi-variant lichen planus successfully treated with oral baricitinib and topical ruxolitinib cream

Lichen planus is a chronic auto-inflammatory disease that primarily affects mucocutaneous regions. There are many variants of lichen planus including cutaneous, oral, nail, follicular, and erosive forms. Without any disease-specific treatment options, multi-variant lichen planus can be a challenging disease to manage. We present a 61-year-old woman with multivariant lichen planus that was refractory to numerous systemic and topical therapies. Subsequently, her cutaneous and vulvovaginal lesions improved with the use of oral baricitinib and the erosive oral lesions improved with topical ruxolitinib.

Exclusive extragenital lichen sclerosis in a child presenting in a lichen planus distribution

Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic inflammatory dermatosis primarily affecting the genitalia, commonly characterized by pearly-white papules and plaques. Although predominantly affecting females, LS can manifest across all age groups, with a bimodal distribution observed in prepubescent girls and postmenopausal women. This case report presents an unusual instance of exclusive extragenital LS in a 10-year-old girl, showcasing hyperpigmented patches and wrinkled plaques resembling lichen planus on her forearms and lower legs. Histopathological analysis confirmed LS, revealing distinctive epidermal changes and lymphocytic infiltrates. The absence of mucosal involvement and unique clinical presentation differentiated this case from typical LS manifestations. Treatment with topical clobetasol propionate demonstrated significant improvement in pruritus. Extragenital LS is infrequent, particularly among children, and its diagnosis necessitates a comprehensive clinicopathological correlation. The reported case contributes valuable insights into this uncommon variant, emphasizing the importance of accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment strategies. Additionally, it highlights the efficacy of high-potency topical corticosteroids in managing this condition.

Possible new defining presentation of mosaic tetrasomy 9p: multiple and recurrent pilomatrixoma

Tetrasomy 9p is a rare genetic syndrome resulting from two additional copies of the short arm of chromosome 9. Symptoms often present in the form of congenital abnormalities including cognitive disabilities, growth retardation, abnormal earlobes, congenital heart disease, and dysmorphia of the skull and face. Current literature suggests patients with tetrasomy 9p may exhibit any combination of these symptoms or, in rare instances, none at all. Although karyotyping, chromosomal microarray, and galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase activity analyses are the definitive diagnostic methods used, there remains a need for more robust clinical recognition in cases of mild phenotypic expression. Herein, we present a rare case of mosaic tetrasomy 9p in a long-term survival patient with multiple and recurrent pilomatrixomas, rare benign growths more commonly found in individuals under the age of 20. To our knowledge, only two previous reports have noted concurrent tetrasomy 9p with pilomatrixomas. We are the first to identify this phenotype in an adult tetrasomy 9p patient. Dermatopathology evaluation was conducted to verify our diagnoses. Our aim is to present a unique, additional case suggesting multiple pilomatrixomas as a new defining clinical presentation of mosaic tetrasomy 9p and to review the literature underlying the genetic changes associated with this syndrome.

The use of systemic corticosteroids in debilitating sycosis barbae, sycosis barbae fulminans

Submitted as: (mark with X) X_Case Report _Case Presentation _Photo Vignette _Letter Authors declare that the contents of this article are their own original unpublished findings. Title: The use of systemic corticosteroids in debilitating sycosis barbae, sycosis barbae fulminans Authors: Kathleen R Krivda MD, Uzoamaka J Okoro MD, Nicholas F Logemann DO Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Bethesda, Maryland, USA Corresponding Author: Kathleen Krivda MD, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD 20889, Tel: 240-751-3823, Email: Abstract (no more than 200 words):

Case Presentation

Erythema multiforme-like papules after COVID vaccine administration

A unique dermatopathology incident arose after administration of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 (Moderna) vaccine. Specifically, a transient purpuric interface dermatitis occurred 5 days post-second vaccine with the presentation of erythematous papules with erythema multiforme-type findings. A patient developed purpuric interface dermatitis with micro-vesiculation post-vaccination which ultimately resolved without sequelae.

Blau syndrome-the skin as a warning sign

Blau syndrome is an autosomal dominant chronic inflammatory disease, which may begin with skin manifestations in the first months of life, alerting physicians to the diagnosis. This case reports a patient diagnosed jointly by pediatric dermatology and rheumatology consultants at two years of age.

Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis triggered by COVID-19

Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis is a severe adverse skin reaction, usually caused by drugs, but in rare cases it can be associated with infections. Several cases related to COVID-19 have been reported, however, almost all were drug-related. Here we report a case of acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis associated with COVID-19 in a previously healthy 64-year-old woman, with no culprit drugs.

Photo Vignette

Cutis verticis gyrata in a patient with acromegaly: an unusual case and review of literature

Acromegaly is a rare systemic syndrome induced by the overproduction of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor type one (IGF1). It is responsible for changes in the skeletal and soft tissue systems and it almost always occurs because of a pituitary adenoma. Amongst the skin complications related to acromegaly, cutis verticis gyrate (CVG) is occasionally found. It is a skin condition characterized by excessive growth of the skin of the scalp, resulting in furrows and folds. Only a few cases of this uncommon association have been reported in the literature. The present clinical case illustrates typical CVG associated with acromegaly. Imaging revealed a pituitary macroadenoma lesion and hormonal evaluation revealed elevated IGF1 and hypopituitarism. The patient underwent a transsphenoidal resection of the pituitary adenoma and the histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis. The diagnosis of CVG is clinical, so radiologic assessments are generally not necessary. The management of acromegaly associated with CVG depends on controlling the serum levels of GH and IGF1. In some cases, specific injections or surgery can be used to minimize CVG.

Chronic ulcer in a patient with essential thrombocythemia taking hydroxyurea

Chronic skin ulcers in patients with suspected pyoderma gangrenosum can, on closer inspection and further workup, have a different cause. Recognition of key features on clinical examination such as the presence of atrophie blanche is key to avoid misdiagnosis of pyoderma gangrenosum and its subsequent treatment with high-dose corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive medications.

Pyogenic granuloma of the scalp arising from a retained bullet fragment after a contralateral skull-penetrating gunshot wound

Pyogenic granulomas are benign lesions commonly found on the skin and mucosal surfaces. Although the etiology of pyogenic granuloma is not well understood, some reports have suggested that PG may be caused by impaired wound healing following tissue injury. Rare cases of pyogenic granulomas in the setting of local foreign body have been reported in the literature. Although foreign body reactions have not been identified as a cause of pyogenic granuloma, these reports evidence the need to further investigate this association. We present a 33-year-old man who presented with a pyogenic granuloma on the scalp six years after a contralateral skull-penetrating gunshot wound that resulted in retained bullet fragments.


Comparison of potential contact allergens in best-selling adult and baby cleansers

are that the contents of this article are their own original unpublished findings. Title: Comparison of potential contact allergens in best-selling adult and baby cleansers Authors: Jayden Galamgam1 MD, Sasan D Noveir2 BA, Carol E Cheng1 MD Affiliations: 1Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2 David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA Corresponding Author: Jayden Galamgam MD, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, Email: