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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 27, Issue 9, 2021


Management of surgical soft tissue defects of the lower extremities

Management of post-operative soft-tissue defects on the lower legs is challenging owing to arterial and venous insufficiency, poor skin quality including epidermal and dermal atrophy, insufficient tissue laxity, and increased risk of infection. This paper highlights the management of post-operative soft-tissue defects on the lower extremity that cannot be closed primarily or by reconstruction with a local flap. A systematic review of the literature was performed using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) PubMed online database. Articles were included if they reported the management of post-operative lower extremity soft-tissue defects with secondary intention healing, full-thickness skin graft, split-thickness skin grafts, or skin substitutes. Sixty-three articles were included for analysis. There are several options for managing surgical defects on the lower legs and the method chosen should depend on various factors, including the quality of the skin, vascularity and size of the defect, medical history of the patient, and the experience of the surgeon.

Vaccine considerations for adult dermatology patients on immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies: a clinical review

Adults with chronic inflammatory skin disease are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses and infections, likely because of the underlying disease itself and also their treatment with immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory medications. Despite the association between these agents and increased susceptibility to infection, vaccination rates in dermatology patients remain low. Although preventative care such as vaccinations is typically managed by primary care providers, dermatologists serve a critical role in spreading awareness of the specific risks of immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory agents and promoting understanding of individualized vaccine recommendations. In this review, we provide evidence-based information on vaccine recommendations for adult dermatology patients, specific to age and medication use.

Cultural and biological factors in body dysmorphic disorder in East Asia

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) can cause severe distress and impairment in many important areas of functioning. Although BDD has been well studied in Western populations, there is limited information on BDD in other cultures. In this review, we discuss the prevalence and presentation of BDD in East Asian countries and the significance of conducting further research in this particular group.


Real-world biologic and apremilast treatment patterns in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

Purpose: Real-world treatment patterns among psoriasis patients with and without psoriatic arthritis (PsA) newly initiating treatment with a biologic or apremilast were assessed. Patients and methods: MarketScan claims data from adults with psoriasis and ?1 new prescription for secukinumab, adalimumab, ustekinumab, etanercept, or apremilast from January 1, 2015, to August 31, 2018, were assessed for adherence, switching, and combination therapy by index medication and PsA diagnosis. Results: At treatment initiation, 22.0%-45.7% of patients had PsA. Over 24 months, discontinuation rates were high (34.4%-54.6%) overall and higher in patients with versus without PsA (all P<0.05 except secukinumab). Adherence was poor (16.8%-34.8%); switching and combination therapy were common. Conclusion: Treatment patterns varied, with better outcomes in PsA patients receiving anti-tumor necrosis factor versus anti-IL17/IL12/23 agents.

Health insurance relationship to sun protection practices and beliefs

Purpose: Lower socioeconomic status is associated with decreased sun protection practices. This survey study investigated practices and beliefs surrounding sun protection based on health insurance. Methods: 401 surveys were administered May to June 2019 at two dermatology clinics in Sacramento, California. 384 surveys by private insurance, Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid), and Medicare coverage were analyzed. Results: Patients with Medi-Cal are twice as likely to rarely or never use sunscreen (OR=2.37; 95% CI 1.45-3.87; P<0.001) compared to those with private insurance. Patients with Medi-Cal or Medicare are less likely to use sunscreen (P<0.001), protective clothing (P=0.025), and sun avoidance (P=0.028). Medi-Cal patients more often used tanning beds (OR=4.90; 95% CI 1.30-18.50; P=0.019). Over half of patients with Medi-Cal agreed it is worth getting burned for a tan (54.6%, OR=2.54; 95% CI 1.41-4.62; P=0.0021). There were no significant differences in opinion that sunscreen is a hassle to apply or expensive. Groups did not differ significantly in ethnicities or skin type. Conclusion: Those with Medi-Cal are less likely to use all forms of sun protection and more likely to value tanning. Negative opinions of sunscreen and perceived knowledge and concern for skin cancer were similar, pointing to additional factors influencing these disparities.

Case Report

Dupilumab for the treatment of nivolumab-induced bullous pemphigoid: a case report and review of the literature

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, a relatively new class of drugs, are used to treat a variety of malignancies. These drugs have a known association with cutaneous side effects, such as bullous pemphigoid. Bullous pemphigoid is a pruritic blistering disorder that is caused by autoantibodies forming against the basement membrane of the epidermis. New research has shown that interleukin-4, interleukin-13, and eosinophils play a significant role in the pathogenesis of bullous pemphigoid. Dupilumab, an IL4 alpha receptor antagonist has been shown to reduce IL4 and IL13 in atopic dermatitis. We present a case of nivolumab-induced bullous pemphigoid that was successfully treated with dupilumab.

Assessing smoldering adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma: a case report

Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a rare, extremely aggressive malignancy with four different clinical variants, all of which are associated with human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1. Antiretrovirals have been recognized as an effective therapy after study in clinical trials around the world. However, oncologists traditionally wait for asymptomatic patients with ATLL to reach a more severe stage of disease before treatment is initiated. We describe a patient with Fitzpatrick Skin Type V who presented with asymptomatic dyschromia of her neck, breast, and jaw. Her clinical, laboratory, and histological findings were consistent with smoldering type-ATLL. We teamed up with her oncologist to successfully treat her cutaneous symptoms with interferon-alpha/zidovudine. This report demonstrates efficacy with the employment of antiretroviral therapy immediately following a diagnosis of smoldering type ATLL.

Case Presentation

Cutaneous B cell pseudolymphoma treated with rituximab and methotrexate

Cutaneous B cell pseudolymphoma (CBPL), or cutaneous lymphoid hyperplasia, is the most common pseudolymphoma. It typically responds well to local treatment and follows a benign course. Herein, we describe the unique case of a patient with CBPL that was refractory to a variety of treatments, with subsequent response to rituximab followed by methotrexate. This case explores the complex interplay of T and B lymphocytes, and the potential role of perifollicular T cells in treatment resistant CBPL. Further, it describes the additive therapeutic effect of rituximab and methotrexate to target both B cell and T cell populations in CBPL, a strategy already employed in a number of other conditions.

Knuckle pads: an ancient disease frequently misdiagnosed because of minimal modern attention

Knuckle pads are benign painless papules and nodules that most commonly appear on the extensor surfaces of the proximal interphalangeal joints. Knuckle pads are frequently misdiagnosed due to their location overlying joints, which can lead to costly interventions and patient discomfort for a relatively harmless condition. We describe a 44-year-old woman who presented with mildly painful nodules on multiple bilateral proximal interphalangeal joints. The patient did not have a family history of fibromatosis and the rheumatoid factor was negative. Histology showed mild epidermal hyperkeratosis, papillomatosis, and acanthosis with a deep dermal, poorly circumscribed, proliferative nodule made of spindled myofibroblasts without cytological atypia. The diagnosis of knuckle pads was established based on the clinical and morphological presentation of the nodules. Treatment with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide injection produced significant clinical improvement. Our findings highlight the challenging diagnosis of knuckle pads and the importance of increasing the familiarity of knuckle pads in modern medical practice.

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Papulopustular rosacea during nivolumab therapy of metastatic squamous cell esophageal carcinoma

We present a 76-year old man who developed papulopustular rosacea after receiving nivolumab treatment for his esophageal carcinoma, metastatic to the lungs. Nivolumab is an emerging cancer therapy whose immune-related adverse events are still not fully recognized and likely underreported. The treatment has been reported to cause a myriad of cutaneous immune-related adverse events. However, nivolumab-induced-papulopustular rosacea has been scarcely reported. Thus, this case presents a clinically important finding that physicians should be aware of when seeing patients on nivolumab therapy.

Scalp metastasis as initial presentation of neuroendocrine carcinoma

Neuroendocrine carcinomas are a rare, heterogenous group of malignancies that arise from neuroendocrine cells throughout the body. Cutaneous metastasis of neuroendocrine carcinoma is uncommon and they can be easily misdiagnosed as benign epidermal cysts or Merkel cell carcinoma. Collectively, histopathology, immunochemical profile, biochemical markers, and nuclear imaging can guide the diagnosis of neuroendocrine metastasis and localization of primary tumors.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma located on the lower lip

Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a relatively rare epithelial tumor of the major and minor salivary glands that makes up less than 1% of head and neck neoplasms. The typical clinical and pathological findings of this neoplasm include slow growth, perineural invasion, multiple local recurrences, and distant metastasis. Herein, we report a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma located to the lower lip which is quite uncommon.

Papulolinear collagenoma: a rare entity in children

Papulolinear collagenoma is a rare kind of connective tissue nevus. It is a dermal hamartoma characterized by an increase in collagen. We report a young girl's collagen nevus with a papulolinear distribution.

Dermoscopy in cutaneous sarcoidosis

Cutaneous sarcoidosis has a wide variety of manifestations and can be challenging to diagnose clinically. Dermoscopy is a useful tool to support the clinical diagnosis. Herein, we report an elderly woman with pruritic facial plaques. Dermoscopy showed translucent orange globules with shiny white lines, and microscopic examination showed non-necrotizing granulomas with perigranulomatous fibrosis. Shiny white structures on dermoscopy are conventionally associated with basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and dermatofibroma, and have not yet been reported in sarcoidosis. Current descriptions of dermoscopy findings of sarcoidosis in the literature are summarized. Further differential diagnostic entities for this presentation are described and treatment options for cutaneous sarcoidosis are discussed.