Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis


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 22, Issue 7, 2016


Satisfaction with current psoriasis treatment: misalignment between physician and patient perceptions

Psoriasis patients often report dissatisfaction with treatment. However, the extent to which patients and their treating dermatologists are aligned regarding satisfaction with psoriasis therapy is largely unknown. This was explored using data derived from the Adelphi 2011/2013 Psoriasis Disease Specific Programmes, two real world surveys of US dermatologists and their patients. Physicians and patients independently reported their satisfaction with psoriasis control (satisfied, dissatisfied). Two levels of satisfaction alignment between physician and patient responses were constructed: aligned (same responses) and misaligned (different responses). In addition, dermatologists provided patient treatment history and disease/symptom severity whereas patients reported data on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), using the EuroQOL 5-Dimension Health Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and work productivity using the Work Productivity Activity index (WPAI). Multivariate regressions were employed to examine the relationship between satisfaction alignment, overall disease and symptom severity, HRQoL, and work productivity controlling for differences in patient demographics and comorbidities.

From 627 paired dermatologist and psoriasis patient records, 512 (81.7%) and 115 (18.3%) cases fell into the ‘aligned’ and ‘misaligned’ groups, respectively. Compared with patients in the aligned group, those in the misaligned group had more moderate to severe psoriasis (82.3% vs. 43.7%), moderate to severe itching (45.6% vs. 27.8%), pain (23.0% vs. 10.6%), and scaling (54.8% vs. 36.1%), and had lower current biologics use (27.0% vs. 42%) (all p<0.05). The misaligned group was associated with reduced HRQoL (lower EQ-5D score: 0.86 vs. 0.91; higher DLQI score: 7.06 vs. 4.23) and greater work productivity loss (higher WPAI scores: 18.27 vs. 11.43) (all p<0.05). Multivariate analyses confirmed these results (p<0.05). Almost 1 in 5 patients were misaligned with their dermatologist’s level of satisfaction with their psoriasis treatment; misalignment was associated with increased disease and symptom severity, reduced HRQoL, and reduced work productivity.

Impact of psoriasis flare and remission on quality of life and work productivity: a real-world study in the USA

Although psoriasis patients often report a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and work productivity, less is known about how disease burden varies between periods of flare and remission. The aim of this study was tocompare HRQoL and work productivity by disease activity level. Data were extracted from Adelphi 2011/2013 Disease Specific Programmes, two real world surveys of US dermatologists and psoriasis patients. HRQoL was measured using the EuroQOL 5-Dimension Health Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). Work productivity was measured using the Work Productivity Activity index (WPAI). Three levels of disease activity were constructed based on physician reports: remission, active not flaring, active, and flaring. Multivariable regression analyses explored the relationship between disease activity, HRQoL and work productivity, controlling for differences in demographics and comorbidities. Out of 681 psoriasis patients 24% were in remission, 62% had active disease without flaring, and 15% experienced active disease and were currently flaring. Greater disease activity was associated with worse HRQoL. EQ-5D scores decreased with more active disease (remission vs. active not flaring vs. active and flaring: 0.93 vs. 0.90 vs. 0.82; p<0.05), while DLQI scores increased (remission vs. active not flaring vs. active and flaring: 2.0 vs. 5.00 vs. 8.7; p<0.05). WPAI scores increased with disease activity indicating increased productivity loss (remission vs. active not flaring vs. active and flaring: 5.9 vs. 14.8 vs. 26.9; p<0.05). The same trends were confirmed by multivariable regression analyses.

Most people with psoriasis or rosacea are not being treated: a large population study

When left untreated, psoriasis and rosacea can have long-term health and psychosocial implications. The purpose of this study was to estimate the percentage of Americans with psoriasis or rosacea who are not being treated. Patient data from a large claims-based database were analyzed to identify the number of patients who are treated for psoriasis or rosacea. The numbers of patients treated were compared to the estimated prevalences of these diseases in the general population, identified from previously published sources. Of the 18,632,362 patients in the database, 140,439 (0.75%) were seen for psoriasis and 165,130 (0.89%) were seen for rosacea. Based on published sources, 3.2% of Americans have psoriasis and about 5.0% have rosacea. We therefore estimated that 77% of people with psoriasis and 82% of people with rosacea are untreated. Greater awareness, resources, and community outreach projects are potential tools that could eliminate this disparity and increase the quality of life for patients with these diseases.


Trends in mortality from skin diseases in the United States: skin infectious diseases are claiming more lives

BackgroundAlthough there has been some excellent work published on the mortality from non-neoplastic skin disease In the United States, further analysis of trends is limited.

MethodsData from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for mortality abstracted from Death Certificates was obtained from the WONDER (wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research) system from 1999 to 2014. Categorical variables were analyzed with Excel 2013 data analysis software using Chi-squared tests whereas regression was performed for trends.

ResultsCrude death rates were highest in the South, especially in Mississippi and Louisiana. This work also confirmed that Blacks or African Americans had higher risk of death from skin disease, whereas Hispanic or Latinos had lower risk. Overall mortality from non-neoplastic diseases is increasing over time and significant increases in mortality from infectious and papulosquamous diseases were observed, whereas there appears to be decreasing mortality from dermatitis and miscellaneous skin disorders (ICD-10-CM L80-90).

ConclusionsMortality is increasing from non-neoplastic diseases, especially infectious and papulosquamous diseases. Demographic factors such age race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity also confer differential risk.


Dermatology Residents are Prescribing Tanning Bed Treatment

Although 90% of dermatologists discourage the use of tanning beds, about half of psoriasis patients report using tanning beds and most of these note improvement. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if dermatology residents are advocating the tanning bed use to their patients.

Dermatology Interest Groups in Medical Schools

Involvement in a Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) allows students to learn about dermatology, partake in service projects, get involved in research, and ask questions about the application process for residency programs. In this article, we review the activities and member involvement of DIGs from 11 medical schools. To our knowledge, this is the first descriptive analysis of DIGs across the United States. This comparison of DIGs is not only potentially helpful for medical schools interested in establishing a DIG, but it also offers insight into how previously established DIGs could improve and have a greater impact both in individual medical schools and in the community at-large.

360-degree Evaluations on Physician Performance as an Effective Tool for Interprofessional Teams: A critical analysis of physician self-assessment as compared to nursing staff and patient evaluations of providers.

ImportanceThe dynamics of the medical care team, including interactions between physicians and nursing staff, has a large role to play in patient care, patient satisfaction, and future possible reimbursement determination. In order to implement changes to improve this dynamic within the medical team, it is imperative that appropriate assessments are completed to determine baseline satisfaction of our patients and nursing staff in addition to provider self-assessment.

ObjectiveWe aimed to investigate patient and nursing staff satisfaction with regards to provider quality of care in an outpatient academic dermatology clinic setting. We also sought out to determine provider insight in regards to satisfaction of patient and nursing staff.

MethodsOur nursing staff, patients, and providers completed a questionnaire. We then compared nursing satisfaction data and patient satisfaction data with provider self-assessment to determine provider self-awareness.

ResultsA total of 23 provider and nurse surveys and 562 patient satisfaction surveys were completed. Paired comparison and descriptive statistics were utilized to compare patient satisfaction, nursing satisfaction, and provider self-assessments.

ConclusionsOverall, the results of the surveys demonstrated that the nursing staff and patients had high satisfaction in their interactions with the dermatology physicians. The physicians had appropriate insight into how they were perceived by the nursing staff and patients. Attending physicians as compared to resident physicians and male physicians as compared to female physicians tended to underrate themselves.

Case Report

Segmental neurofibromatosis and cancer: report of triple malignancy in a woman with mosaic Neurofibromatosis 1 and review of neoplasms in segmental neurofibromatosis

BackgroundSegmental neurofibromatosis, referred to as mosaic neurofibromatosis 1, patients present with neurofibromas or café au lait macules or both in a unilateral segment of the body.

PurposeA woman with segmental neurofibromatosis and triple cancer (renal cell carcinoma, mixed thyroid carcinoma, and lentigo maligna) is described and cancers observed in patients with segmental neurofibromatosis are reviewed.

MethodsPubMed was used to search the following terms, separately and in combination: cancer, malignancy, mosaic, neoplasm, neurofibroma, neurofibromatosis, segment, segmental, tumor.

ResultsMalignancy (13 cancers) has been observed in 11 segmental neurofibromatosis patients; one patient had three different cancers. The most common neoplasms were of neural crest origin {malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (3 patients) and melanoma (3 patients)] and gastrointestinal tract origin [colon (1 patient) and gastric (1 patient)]. Breast cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and thyroid cancer each occurred in one patient.

ConclusionsSimilar to patients with von Recklinghausen neurofibromatosis 1, individuals with segmental neurofibromatosis also have a genodermatosis-associated increased risk of developing cancer.

Case Presentation

Cosmetic tattoo pigment reaction

BackgroundCutaneous reactions to tattoos are most commonly granulomatous or lichenoid.

PurposeWe describe a woman who developed a lymphocytic reaction following a cosmetic tattoo procedure with black dye. The reaction occurred not only at the site of the tattoos (eyebrows and eyelash lines), but also in non-tattooed skin (bilateral malar cheeks).

Methods and MaterialsWe reviewed PubMed for the following terms: cosmetic, dye, granuloma, granulomatous, lichenoid, lymphocytic, perivascular, pigment, pseudolymphoma, reaction, and tattoo. We also reviewed papers containing these terms and their references.

ResultsHistopathologic examination of the left eyebrow and left cheek punch biopsies showed predominantly a perivascular lymphocytic reaction secondary to exogenous tattoo pigment.

ConclusionsPerivascular lymphocytic reaction is an uncommonly described complication of tattooing. Our patient had an atypical presentation since she had no prior tattoos, became symptomatic only a few days after the procedure, reacted to black dye, and involved skin both within and outside the confines of the tattoos. Her symptoms and lesions resolved after treatment with systemic and topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines.

Widespread cutaneous metastasis from ovarian serous adenocarcinoma

Cutaneous metastasis can be rarely first manifestation of internal cancers; these usually develop with advanced stage malignancies. Cutaneous metastasis of ovarian cancer is rare and the majority of are seen around the pelvic region compatible with the localization of the primary ovarian tumor. Herein, we report a patient with ovarian cancer with widespread and distant cutaneous metastases showing multiple nodules and ulcers.

Successful treatment of eosinophilic cellulitis with dapsone

A 55-year-old woman presented with a 3-year history of recurrent episodes of pruritic cellulitis-like erythematous plaques, mostly located on the limbs. Simultaneously, fever, malaise and peripheral eosinophilia were noted. The clinical diagnosis of eosinophilic cellulitis (also known as Well’s syndrome) was supported by the histopathological finding of typical “flame figures”. Treatment with dapsone was initiated at a dose of 50 mg per day. After one year of follow-up the patient was relapse-free. Eosinophilic cellulitis is an uncommon, recurrent inflammatory skin disease. The management is often a challenge, due to the frequent need for long-term therapy. Dapsone is an effective and safe treatment option.

Kaposi Sarcoma of the eyelid as an initial manifestation of AIDS

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a multifocal systemic disease that originates in the vascular endothelium related to Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8). In the early 1980s the first series of cases of disseminated Kaposi Sarcoma in HIV infected patients were reported. However, with the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) since 1997, these cases are less frequently observed by clinicians. We report the case of a 40-year-old woman, presenting with two asymptomatic purpuric nodules localized in the superior and inferior left eyelids, occluding the palpebral fissure, which were present for 4 months prior to presentation. The eyelid nodules were determined to represent KS, but there were no additional cutaneous lesions. Pulmonary and gastric KS involvement was documented. Antiretroviral therapy was initiated along with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. The nodules gradually disappeared and her immune status eventually improved. Ocular and periorbital involvement of KS associated with HIV-1 infection as the initial clinical manifestations is a rare advent. This case is important as it illustrates that disseminated KS was not to be predicted by the number or the extension of cutaneous lesions.

Generalized Bullous Fixed Drug Eruption due to Bromhexine

We describe a patient with a generalized bullous form of Fixed Drug Eruption (FDE) induced by bromhexine, a commonly used drug for respiratory symptoms. This is a rare association and generalized bullous FDE is also very rare. We emphasize the importance of patch tests in identifying the culprit drug.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis with nail changes and multisystem disease: a case report

Nail involvement in Langerhans cell histiocytosis is uncommon and is said to indicate a poor prognosis. We describe a 2-year-old boy with onycholysis, subungual hyperkeratosis, and hemorrhages on his fingernails. He also had hepatosplenomegaly and pulmonary involvement. The diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis was made by histopathologic examination of skin and liver.The role of nail involvement as an unfavorable prognostic sign is still unclear and this paper concludes that nail involvement in Langerhans cell histiocytosis is a possible sign of multisystemic involvement.

Photo Vignette

Unilateral indurated plaque in the axilla: a case of metastatic breast carcinoma

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women and is also the most common internal malignancy to metastasize to the skin. Rarely, cutaneous metastases represent the first indication of breast carcinoma, putting dermatologists in an instrumental position to make the diagnosis of breast carcinoma. We report the case of a 71-year-old woman with a 10-year history of a slowly-enlarging, indurated plaque in the right axilla. Review of symptoms was significant only for occasional numbness and tingling that extended from the right axilla to the right hand. Biopsy revealed cells infiltrating in a single–file between the collagen bundles in the dermis and subcutis and immunohistochemical staining consistent with a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma. Subsequent work up revealed a primary breast lesion and extensive bony metastases.

Congenital cartilaginous rest of the neck in a boy

Congenital cartilaginous rest of the neck is a rarely encountered entity that requires surgical excision. In this case report, we describe a 12-year-old boy with asymptomatic congenital cartilaginous rest of the neck. We also discuss the associated congenital malformations that dermatologists must be aware of when caring for patients with this disease.

Granuloma faciale treatment with tacrolimus

We present a 40-year-old woman with a one-year history of a solitary and asymptomatic facial lesion. On physical examination a slightly infiltrated, smooth red to brown nodule was seen at the left malar region. A biopsy established the diagnosis of granuloma faciale. After two-months therapy with topical tacrolimus 0,1%, nodule was resolved


Exposure to teledermatology and resident preparedness for future practice: results of a national survey

Teledermatology (TD) is an emerging modality for providing remote dermatologic care with high diagnostic and management 25 concordance compared to face-to-face clinic dermatology. TD training among dermatology residency programs in the United 26 States has not been characterized. We disseminated a survey to all dermatology residents at ACGME accredited programs in the 27 United States to explore the prevalence and distribution of TD training and trainee perceptions of TD. One hundred out of a 28 potential 1170 responses (RR 8.5%) were collected from residents in every geographic location from all years in training: 67/100 29 of residents reported that TD was practiced at their institutions, although at these sites only 21/100 residents participated in 30 clinical sessions. Residents with TD exposure were more likely to feel comfortable managing a TD consult after residency 31 (p<0.001), but were not more likely to incorporate teledermatology into their future plans. Results of this study provide insight 32 into the impact of TD exposure on resident perceptions of TD and demonstrate the need for expanding TD training across all 33 dermatology residency programs.

A Quick Review of the Cutaneous Findings of the Zika Virus

The current outbreak of Zika virus is a growing public health concern, especially for pregnant women. Zika virus infection may manifest as a maculopapular skin eruption that progresses rostrocaudally, with or without hemorrhagic manifestations such as petechiae and gingival bleeding. Recognizing the cutaneous findings associated with Zika virus may aid in early diagnosis, particularly in individuals at increased risk for the disease.

Allergic contact dermatitis from cetearyl alcohol in Thrombocid® ointment

Thrombocid® ointment (Lacer, Barcelona, Spain) is widely used in Spain and other countries for varicose veins and 22 hematomas. To our knowledge, there are no reported cases of allergic contact dermatitis following its use. Herein we present 23 two cases of allergic contact dermatitis to Thrombocid® ointment, owing to cetearyl alcohol.

Agminated melanocytic nevus status post dabrafenib therapy for metastatic melanoma

Agminated melanocytic nevus is an uncommon type of mole, characterized by a local group of macular or papular pigmented lesions, well demarcated, without a common pigmented background. This pattern has also been associated with Spitz nevi, dysplastic melanocytic nevi, and non-melanocytic lesions.We describe the onset of an acquired agminated melanocytic nevus after dabrafenib treatment. Our case highlights paradoxical MAPK activation in the setting of single-agent BRAF blockade and underscores the importance of characterizing the diverse side effects of selective BRAF inhibitors. This is the first case, to our knowledge, of agminated melanocytic nevus in association with dabrafenib.