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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 29, Issue 1, 2023


Differences in accessing dermatology offices, primary care offices, and emergency departments between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic White Patients

How Hispanic patients access dermatologic care for skin diseases is unknown. This study aims to determine if differences exist in accessing the emergency department (ED), primary care, and outpatient dermatologic offices for skin diseases between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White patients. This cross-sectional study used nationally representative data from the Medical Panel Expenditure Survey (MEPS) from 2016-2019. A total of 109,337,668 (weighted) patients with any skin disease diagnosed at an ED, primary care, or dermatology visit were identified. Hispanics comprised 13.0% and non-Hispanic Whites comprised 68.8% of this subpopulation. Overall, 94.1% of Hispanic patients attended a primary care visit for their skin complaint, 5.8% saw a dermatologist, and 0.1% attended an ED visit. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics were more likely to attend a primary care visit (aOR 1.865; 95%CI, 1.640-2.122) and less likely to attend an outpatient dermatology visit (aOR 0.536; 95%CI, 0.471-0.610), after adjusting for insurance status, education, income, sex, age, and comorbidities. Our study suggests that, compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanic patients access primary care more frequently and outpatient dermatologic offices less frequently for their skin conditions. Language barriers, less familiarity with the healthcare system, and lack of adequate health insurance may play roles in this observation.

Geospatial analysis of access to dermatology care in Los Angeles County: a cross sectional study

Geographic maldistribution of dermatologists contributes to disparities in access to dermatologic care. We aimed to investigate the geographic distribution of, and differences in wait times for medical dermatology services in Los Angeles County (LAC). We placed phone calls to 251 dermatology practices in LAC to ask for a new patient appointment for a changing mole. We found West LAC (Service Planning Area [SPA] 5) had the highest number of dermatologists and South LAC (SPA 6) had the lowest (26.1 versus 0 per 100,000 residents, P=0.01). Service Planning Area 6 has a higher non-White, uninsured, and impoverished population than SPA 5. Dermatology appointment wait times and Medicaid acceptance varied between SPAs but was not statistically significant (P=0.37 and P=0.20, respectively). Medicaid-accepting practices had a significantly longer mean wait time for an appointment than practices that did not accept Medicaid (26.1 versus 15.1 days, P=0.003). Regions with predominantly non-White, Spanish-speaking, and medically underinsured residents were found to be disproportionately lacking in dermatologists across LAC, which may contribute to impaired access to dermatology services in LAC.


Nirmatrelvir-ritonivir, COVID-19, and possible adverse cutaneous reactions

Nirmatrelvir-ritonivir (Paxlovid) recently received emergency use authorization for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Literature has linked numerous cutaneous adverse effects to nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, the copackaged tablets within Paxlovid. A review and comparison of these adverse effects to the common cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19 is provided. Numerous drug-to-drug interactions exist between nirmatrelvir-ritonivir and commonly-used medications within dermatology.

Case Report

A pediatric case of disseminated American cutaneous leishmaniasis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

American cutaneous leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by the protozoa of the genus Leishmania. Clinical manifestations vary according to the virulence of the parasite speciesand the host's immune response. We report a case of a 2-year-old girl vertically exposed to HIV who presented painful and itchy papules throughout her lower limbs with further dissemination of vegetative ulcers all over the body and scalp. The histopathological examination evidenced the amastigote form of Leishmania and the polymerase chain reaction was positive for Leishmania sp. in the tissue sample. The patient was treated with amphotericin B and demonstrated improvement of lesions. Despite successful treatment for American cutaneous leishmaniasis, she developed osteomyelitis related to a bacterial secondary infection over the site of a previous ulcer on the left ankle and required a 6-week course of intravenous antimicrobial treatment. Children with vertical exposure to HIV, even without seroconversion, are at greater risk of infections if compared to non-exposed children. This is perhaps the reason for such an exuberant and rare case of complicated eishmaniasis.

Novel teprotumumab treatment of severe thyroid dermopathy; ototoxicity as an adverse side effect

Pretibial myxedema, more generally thyroid dermopathy, results from mucopolysaccharide accumulation in the dermis, typically between the knee and dorsal foot. Thyroid dermopathy presents in Graves disease, but can occur in Hashimoto thyroiditis, primary hypothyroidism, and euthyroid patients. Treatment of thyroid eye disease with teprotumumab is established in the literature, with few case reports also showing improvement in pretibial myxedema. Reported is a 76-year-old man with thyroid eye disease and pretibial myxedema treated with teprotumumab; improvement was demonstrated in both conditions. He developed "muffled" hearing as an adverse effect, a complication not widely published in the dermatology literature. At 18 months post-treatment, his symptoms are stable without recurrence, but hypoacusis persists. Given the long-term efficacy and side-effects, dermatologists should recognize the potential benefits and risks of using teprotumumab for thyroid dermopathy. A baseline audiogram may be considered prior to therapy. Additionally, longitudinal data is needed to document the benefits and risks of this novel therapy.

Epstein-Barr virus-positive CD30+ B-cell lymphoproliferative disease with histologic features resembling grade III lymphomatoid granulomatosis induced by methotrexate

Methotrexate (MTX) is a first-line systemic medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis because of its immunomodulatory effects. However, MTX has also been linked to the development of lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We describe a patient with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis treated with MTX who developed cutaneous Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive B cell lymphoproliferative disease resembling grade III lymphomatoid granulomatosis localized to the right leg. The lymphomatoid process resolved with withdrawal of the MTX. The pathogenesis of iatrogenic lymphoproliferative disorder was most likely triggered by the rheumatoid inflammation and the immunosuppressing effects of MTX, which led to EBV reactivation. We recommend a trial of MTX discontinuation prior to considering chemotherapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with MTX who develop EBV-positive B cell lymphoproliferative disease resembling a high grade B-cell lymphoma.

A case report of granulomatous lymphomatoid papulosis

Lymphomatoid papulosis is a chronic CD30-positive cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorder that is characterized by recurring red-brown necrotic papules. It exhibits a wide spectrum of histopathologic findings and is often associated with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. Six different histological subtypes have been classified by the WHO, but there is limited understanding regarding rare histopathologic variants. We describe a 51-year-old man who presented with recurring, necrotic papules for 6 years that progressed to involve the face, scalp, trunk, axilla, and scrotum. Histopathology demonstrated sarcoidal granulomas, along with a CD30-positive T cell infiltrate which demonstrated clonality by T cell receptor gamma gene rearrangement. A diagnosis of lymphomatoid papulosis associated with granulomas was established based on the clinical and histopathologic presentation. The clinical understanding of granulomatous lymphomatoid papulosis is limited in the available literature and more awareness of this histopathologic variant is required for accurate classification of this disorder.

Case Presentation

A case of self-improving collodion ichthyosis associated with a rare variant of the ALOX12B gene

Collodion baby is usually a manifestation of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis, a heterogeneous group of congenital hyperkeratotic genodermatoses with highly variable severity and genetic background. Herein, we report a case of self-improving collodion ichthyosis, a rare subtype of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis, characterized by an almost-complete spontaneous resolution of symptoms.

Atezolizumab-induced psoriasiform drug eruption successfully treated with ixekizumab: a case report and literature review

Immune-related cutaneous adverse events (ircAE) are commonly seen with immune checkpoint inhibitors such as atezolizumab. Atezolizumab-induced psoriasis has been previously reported as an ircAE, especially in patients with pre-existing psoriasis. The severity of the reaction influences treatment of the cutaneous eruption. Biologics should be considered as a treatment option for severe refractory psoriasiform eruptions even in patients with complex medical conditions like chronic infections and malignancy. This is the first reported case of successful treatment of atezolizumab-induced psoriasiform eruption with ixekizumab, a neutralizing IL17A monoclonal antibody, to the best of our knowledge. Herein, we present a 63-year-old man with a history of human immunodeficiency virus and psoriasis who presented with atezolizumab-induced psoriasiform eruption while being treated for metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma. After initiating ixekizumab, atezolizumab was restarted without cutaneous eruption.

Myxoid perineurioma: an entity with many mimics

We present a case of a female patient who presented with a 0.6cm flesh-colored "rubbery" papule on the left thigh. Biopsy revealed a dermal myxoid tumor containing spindled cells, tapered nuclei, indistinct cell borders, and a large number of mast cells. The spindle cells stained negative for S100 protein and Sox10 on immunohistochemistry, excluding myxoid neurofibroma, but positive for epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), and CD34, supporting a diagnosis of myxoid perineurioma. Interestingly, the mast cells showed cytoplasmic and nuclear positivity for microphthalmia transcription factor (MiTF). The lesion was fully excised one year later with identical histopathology and ancillary immunohistochemical profile.

Varenicline-induced drug eruption: case and review of the literature

Cutaneous side-effects of varenicline, a selective partial agonist of the a4B2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor used to treat smoking addiction, are relatively rare and mainly consist of acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis. We describe an atypical clinical presentation of a varenicline-induced drug eruption, which occurred one day after drug initiation. We report this case since we believe no drug reaction to varenicline has had this clinical presentation or rapidity of onset. Clinicians should be aware of this potential adverse cutaneous reaction in patients taking varenicline for smoking cessation.

Sneddon-Wilkinson disease following COVID-19 vaccination

Sneddon-Wilkinson disease, also known as subcorneal pustular dermatosis (SPD), is a rare disease characterized by vesicles or pustules that may rapidly expand and coalesce. Idiopathic in nature, SPD's clinical presentation of "half-half" blisters, with half of each blister containing pus and half containing clear fluid, is characteristic of this disease. We describe a previously healthy 21-year-old man who developed acute pustular vesicular eruptions consistent with SPD eight days following the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination.

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Reddish-brown, papulonodular skin lesions in the periungual region

Multicentric reticulohistiocytosis is a rare, non-Langerhans cell histiocytosis that most commonly presents in women in their fourth or fifth decades of life. Cutaneous involvement, characterized by reddish-brown papules in a "string of pearls" or "coral bead" linear formation, and joint involvement are the two most common manifestations at presentation. Histopathology demonstrates dermal proliferation of epithelioid histiocytic-appearing cells with ground glass cytoplasm. We report a 51-year-old woman who presented with ruddy, periungual papules and bilateral joint pain in the hands, consistent with multicentric reticulohistiocytosis. We describe the clinical and histopathologic presentation, therapeutic options, and differential diagnosis of this rare condition.

Bullous impetigo on a young man's abdomen

Bullous impetigo is a variant of epidermal infection by Staphylococcus aureus, representing 30% of impetigo cases. Its clinical appearance may mimic certain autoimmune blistering dermatoses and other cutaneous infections, sometimes necessitating careful evaluation. Herein we present a patient with bullous impetigo in a striking and characteristic appearance and briefly overview the approach to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Delayed diagnosis of DRESS syndrome in a patient with skin of color

We describe a particularly severe case of drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome with hemodynamic instability, erythroderma, profound eosinophilia, and severe organ dysfunction. We attribute the severity in part to a delay in diagnosis due to patient's skin of color, as the erythroderma was not noticed until a dermatologist was consulted. This case highlights how even severe skin disease can present less conspicuously in patients with darker skin types. We outline several strategies that can help clinicians to recognize DRESS and other skin disease phenotypes in patients of color, thereby avoiding delays in diagnosis as seen in this case.