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Journal: Dermatologic therapy


Phyllanthus emblica, vitamin E, and caroteinods are compounds showing antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and repigmenting effects, whose role in vitiligo treatment has not been evaluated so far. Sixty-five subjects (group A) were treated with one tablet of an oral supplement containing P. emblica (100 mg), vitamin E (4.7 mg), and carotenoids (10 mg) three times/day for 6 months and compared with a control group (group B, 65 patients), which instead was not treated with antioxidants. Both groups were simultaneously treated with a comparable topical therapy and/or phototherapy. After a 6 months follow-up, a significantly higher number of patients in group A had a mild repigmentation on the head/neck regions (p = 0.019) and on the trunk (trend, p = 0.051). The number of patients who presented no repigmentation in head/neck, trunk, upper, and lower limbs was significantly higher in group B (respectively, p = 0.009, p = 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.025). Moreover, group B patients showed higher signs of inflammation (p = 0.002), a more rapid growth of the lesions (p = 0.039), a higher percentage of worsening disease (p = 0.003), and more erythema (p = 0.059), whereas group A patients showed a higher percentage of steady disease (p = 0.065). Our results suggest that the supplement with antioxidants in patients with vitiligo might represent a valuable instrument to increase the effectiveness of other vitiligo treatments.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Phyllanthus emblica, Phyllanthus, Phyllanthaceae


The purpose of our study was to verify the results of the association of Q-switched Nd: YAG non-ablative fractionated with intense pulsed light, in order to treat patients with refractory melasma. The combination of these two devices seems to be the best treatment to combat hyperpigmentation produced by melasma, with low occurrence of side effects, which may be justified by the selective photothermolysis at subcellular level.

Concepts: Laser, The Association, Intense pulsed light, Hair removal, Depilation


Traction alopecia is hair loss that occurs after persistent pulling (e.g., during cosmetic procedures) on the roots of hair over time. Unlike plucking, which is painful, persistent pulling may go unnoticed until a patient presents with either bald spots or diffuse telogen shedding. Each hair follicle in the scalp contains an arrector pili muscle that, when contracted, erects the hair. The smooth muscle in the arrector pili expresses α1 adrenergic receptors (α1 -AR). As such, we hypothesized that contraction of the arrector pili muscle via an α1 -AR agonist would increase the threshold of force required to pluck hair during cosmetic procedures. Female subjects, ages 18-40, were recruited to study the effect of topically applied phenylephrine, a selective α1 -AR agonist, on epilation force and hair shedding during cosmetic procedures. In our blinded study, 80% of subjects demonstrated reduced shedding on days using phenylephrine compared to days using a placebo solution. The average reduction in hair loss was approximately 42%. In addition, the force threshold required for epilation increased by approximately 172% following topical phenylephrine application. To our knowledge this is the first study demonstrating the utility of α1 -AR agonists in the treatment of traction alopecia and hair shedding during cosmetic procedures.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Chemotherapy, Agonist, Adrenergic receptor, Alopecia, Baldness, Hair removal, Traction alopecia


Generalized discoid lupus erythematosus can pose a therapeutic challenge for dermatologists. Current treatment emphasizes photoprotection, topical and systemic steroids, and steroid-sparing immunosuppressive agents if necessary. Rapamycin, also known as sirolimus, selectively inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin, a regulatory kinase responsible for multiple signal transduction pathways. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition reduces cell division, lymphocyte proliferation, cytokine release, and downstream pathways unique from other classes of immunomodulatory drugs. Herein, we present a case of generalized discoid lupus erythematosus resistant to topical steroids, prednisone, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, hydroxychloroquine, and thalidomide. The addition of rapamycin led to a positive treatment response within 6 weeks, with good tolerance of the medication and no adverse effects. The current literature supporting the use of rapamycin in the treatment of autoimmune connective tissue diseases is also briefly reviewed. For patients with severe or generalized discoid lupus erythematosus refractory to conventional treatment, rapamycin may be a useful therapeutic consideration.


Pregnancy-associated Sweet’s syndrome is a rare occurrence (2%), with good prognosis, spontaneous resolution after delivery, and not increased infant morbidity and mortality. However, differential diagnosis is not easy for physician not familiar with skin lesions. Systemic involvement, even though unusual, might occur in nearly every organ of the body, including pericardium, myocardium, and placenta, as well as one report of early fetal miscarriage, questioning the possibility of risks underestimation. We present two further cases, one occurred in a 31-year-old woman at 26 weeks of gestation and the other on a 26-year-old woman at 24 weeks of gestation, primigravidae. Both presented with tender papules and nodules on their face and upper body parts. Laboratory examinations and skin biopsy histology were pathognomonic. Monitoring of general maternal and fetal conditions showed no signs of sufferance, but the decision to accelerate skin symptoms release, being time to delivery quite distant, challenge the treatment options. There are no recommended treatments for Sweet syndrome and the choice is very limited during pregnancy. A short course of oral steroids was very effective, with lesions healing in few days, no relapses or fetal complications. When pregnant patients exhibit fever, neutrophilia, arthralgia or myalgia, and tender erythematous plaques or nodules, Sweet syndrome should be considered. The trained dermatologist is in the leading position to address the differential diagnosis, reassure the patient, and avoid complications, even if they are rare.


Brimonidine gel, originally approved for the treatment of facial rosacea, causes direct vasoconstriction and possesses extensive utilization in dermatologic fields. A Q-switched (QS) neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser is generally used to treat solar lentigo (SL), often leaving unwanted postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), especially in dark-skinned individuals. A 58-year-old man with Fitzpatrick skin type IV presented to remove solar lentigines from his face. Prior to and after laser treatment, topical brimonidine gel and steroid cream were applied. In this study, we investigated whether topical application of the α-adrenergic receptor agonist brimonidine could reduce PIH after QS laser treatment of lentigine in a dark-skinned patient.


Poikiloderma is a chronic skin condition affecting middle-age men and women that comprises cutaneous atrophy, telangiectasias, and changes in the pigmentation of the skin usually of mottled appearance (both hyper- and hypopigmentation). There is no specific medical treatment for Poikiloderma of Civatte (PC), but the use of photoprotector/sunscreen + SPF 50 to avoid prolonged sun exposure is highly recommended in these patients. Some authors recommend the use of topical corticoids in early stages; however, the results have not been satisfactory. Multiple topical (retinoids, dimethyl sulfoxide, or calcineurin inhibitors), systemic (cyclophosphamide), and physical (dermabrasion, phototherapy, and fractional photothermolysis) treatments have been described with unequal and inconsistent responses or unsatisfactory. This report underlies the combination of BF-200 ALA and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with positive results at the clinical level: significant improvement of pigmentary changes and telangiectasias after two PDT sessions.


Acneiform rash is a commonly reported side effect to certain types of medications, including antipsychotic agents. Its clinical presentation consists mainly of papulopustular lesions. Other types of lesions, such as nodular or cystic, can also be observed. Body distribution of the lesions follows a similar pattern to acne vulgaris. Depending on the severity of the case, drug-induced acne may be treated in different ways. In mild cases, the use of topical antibiotics and retinoids in combination is usually effective. With more severe forms, it may be necessary to add oral antibiotics, such as tetracyclines, but a good response is not always achieved. Identification of the drug responsible for the side-effect is mandatory in refractory eruptions. Herein, we present the case of an Aripiprazole-induced acneiform rash successfully treated with oral Isotretinoin. The treatment was effective and well tolerated and there was no need to discontinue the psychopharmacological medication. This is the first study to report this modality of treatment.


The role of dietary factors is an important and controversial topic in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). Despite the preponderance of consumer products utilizing oral micronutrients supplementation for relief AD symptoms, less attention has been paid on the utility of topical micronutrients, specifically for individuals with AD. We review evidence on topical formulations of vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E) and trace minerals (magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iodine) for treatment of AD. While topical B, C, and E formulations appear to provide some benefit to AD individuals, topical vitamin A has no utility, and topical vitamin D may exacerbate symptoms. Magnesium, zinc, and iodine all appear to improve AD through anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, though future studies must evaluate their use as monotherapy. The exposition of the effects that topical micronutrients have on AD offers an adjuvant treatment modality for this common inflammatory dermatosis.


Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis is a rare adverse cutaneous reaction characterized by the rapid appearance of numerous pustules arising on edematous, erythematous skin. It is commonly accompanied by fever and leukocytosis and usually resolves with discontinuation of the offending agent. Herein, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis induced by terbinafine is described, followed by a brief review of the literature.