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Journal: Dermatology and therapy


Over the last few years, dermoscopy has been shown to be a useful tool in assisting the noninvasive diagnosis of various general dermatological disorders. In this article, we sought to provide an up-to-date practical overview on the use of dermoscopy in general dermatology by analysing the dermoscopic differential diagnosis of relatively common dermatological disorders grouped according to their clinical presentation, i.e. dermatoses presenting with erythematous-desquamative patches/plaques (plaque psoriasis, eczematous dermatitis, pityriasis rosea, mycosis fungoides and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus), papulosquamous/papulokeratotic dermatoses (lichen planus, pityriasis rosea, papulosquamous sarcoidosis, guttate psoriasis, pityriasis lichenoides chronica, classical pityriasis rubra pilaris, porokeratosis, lymphomatoid papulosis, papulosquamous chronic GVHD, parakeratosis variegata, Grover disease, Darier disease and BRAF-inhibitor-induced acantholytic dyskeratosis), facial inflammatory skin diseases (rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, discoid lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, lupus vulgaris, granuloma faciale and demodicidosis), acquired keratodermas (chronic hand eczema, palmar psoriasis, keratoderma due to mycosis fungoides, keratoderma resulting from pityriasis rubra pilaris, tinea manuum, palmar lichen planus and aquagenic palmar keratoderma), sclero-atrophic dermatoses (necrobiosis lipoidica, morphea and cutaneous lichen sclerosus), hypopigmented macular diseases (extragenital guttate lichen sclerosus, achromic pityriasis versicolor, guttate vitiligo, idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, progressive macular hypomelanosis and postinflammatory hypopigmentations), hyperpigmented maculopapular diseases (pityriasis versicolor, lichen planus pigmentosus, Gougerot-Carteaud syndrome, Dowling-Degos disease, erythema ab igne, macular amyloidosis, lichen amyloidosus, friction melanosis, terra firma-forme dermatosis, urticaria pigmentosa and telangiectasia macularis eruptiva perstans), itchy papulonodular dermatoses (hypertrophic lichen planus, prurigo nodularis, nodular scabies and acquired perforating dermatosis), erythrodermas (due to psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, mycosis fungoides, pityriasis rubra pilaris and scabies), noninfectious balanitis (Zoon’s plasma cell balanitis, psoriatic balanitis, seborrheic dermatitis and non-specific balanitis) and erythroplasia of Queyrat, inflammatory cicatricial alopecias (scalp discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia and folliculitis decalvans), nonscarring alopecias (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium) and scaling disorders of the scalp (tinea capitis, scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and pityriasis amiantacea).

Concepts: Discoid lupus erythematosus, Psoriasis, Immunosuppressive drug, Eczema, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Autoimmune diseases, Conditions of the skin appendages, Lupus erythematosus


The development of several highly effective biologic drugs in the past decade has revolutionized the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. With increased understanding of the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis, the emphasis has turned toward more specific targets for psoriasis drugs. Although the complex immunological pathway of psoriasis is not yet completely understood, current models emphasize the significant importance of interleukin (IL)-23 and IL-17. Several biologic drugs targeting these cytokines are now in various stages of drug development. Drugs targeting IL-23 include BI-655066, briakinumab, guselkumab, tildrakizumab, and ustekinumab. Drugs targeting IL-17 include brodalumab, ixekizumab, and secukinumab. While many of these have shown safety and good efficacy in clinical trials of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, long-term safety is still to be established.

Concepts: Ustekinumab, Interleukin 17, Interleukin, Cytokine, Effectiveness, Psoriasis, Pharmacology, Clinical trial


Skin and soft tissue infections involve microbial invasion of the skin and underlying soft tissues and are estimated to affect 7-10% of hospitalized patients worldwide. Nadifloxacin, a topical fluoroquinolone, has been shown to be effective against aerobic Gram-negative, Gram-positive (including MRSA and coagulase-negative staphylococci), and anaerobic bacteria. However, there is paucity of data comparing efficacy and safety of 1% nadifloxacin with other anti-bacterials for skin infections in Indian patients.

Concepts: Antibiotic, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Skin, Tissues, Staphylococcus, Bacteria, Microbiology


“Darwin’s tubercle” is a term used to describe an atavistic swelling of the posterior helix that is present in some individuals. Little is known about its prevalence, characteristics, and function. With growing interest in the individuality of external ear patterns and its possible applications to personal identification, more knowledge about this tubercle is warranted.

Concepts: Person, Darwin's tubercle, Ear


Atrophic scarring occurs throughout the course of inflammatory acne and across the spectrum of severity. This study evaluates perceptions of the general population toward individuals with clear skin and acne scars.

Concepts: FN SCAR, Perception, Sebaceous gland, Skin, Inflammation, Keloid, Scar, Acne vulgaris


Skin-bleaching practices, such as using skin creams and soaps to achieve a lighter skin tone, are common throughout the world and are triggered by cosmetic reasons that oftentimes have deep historical, economic, sociocultural, and psychosocial roots. Exposure to chemicals in the bleaching products, notably, mercury (Hg), hydroquinone, and steroids, has been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, such as Hg poisoning and exogenous ochronosis. In New York City (NYC), skin care product use has been identified as an important route of Hg exposure, especially among Caribbean-born blacks and Dominicans. However, surprisingly sparse information is available on the epidemiology of the health impacts of skin-bleaching practices among these populations. We highlight the dearth of large-scale, comprehensive, community-based, clinical, and translational research in this area, especially the limited skin-bleaching-related research among non-White populations in the US. We offer five new research directions, including investigating the known and under-studied health consequences among populations for which the skin bleach practice is newly emerging at an alarming rate using innovative laboratory and statistical methods. We call for conducting methodologically rigorous, multidisciplinary, and culturally sensitive research in order to provide insights into the root and the epidemiological status of the practice and provide evidence of exposure-outcome associations, with an ultimate goal of developing potential intervention strategies to reduce the health burdens of skin-bleaching practice.

Concepts: Public health, Statistics, Skin whitening, American Broadcasting Company, Skin, Epidemiology, Human skin color, New York City


Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) is an antioxidant that has multiple biologic effects including antimicrobial properties. Acne vulgaris is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit, characterized by an inflammatory host immune response to the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This study sought to determine whether resveratrol may be a potential treatment for acne vulgaris.

Concepts: Immune system, Propionibacterium, Microbiology, Anabolic steroid, Inflammation, Sebaceous gland, Propionibacterium acnes, Acne vulgaris


Scalp psoriasis with alopecia is a rare cutaneous reaction to tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists. This reaction often reverses with discontinuation of the offending drug and initiation of topical treatments; however, irreversible hair loss may occur if a scarring alopecia develops. We describe a woman with Crohn’s disease who developed scalp psoriasis and alopecia secondary to infliximab. She had a remarkable recovery after discontinuation of infliximab and treatment with oral minocycline and topical therapy: mineral oil under occlusion, betamethasone lotion, and sequential coal tar, salicylic acid, and ketoconazole shampoos each day. The patient’s alopecia completely resolved within 4 months of initiating this treatment regimen. In summary, early diagnosis of alopecia secondary to tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonist therapy is crucial in preventing diffuse alopecia and scalp psoriasis. In addition to discontinuing the offending agent, initiating aggressive adjuvant treatment with an oral antibiotic, topical therapies, or both, should be considered to reverse tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonist-induced alopecia and/or scalp psoriasis.

Concepts: Shampoo, Chemotherapy, Traction alopecia, Infliximab, Psoriasis, Adalimumab, Dandruff, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha


INTRODUCTION: Inverse psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis that affects between 3% and 7% of the patients with psoriasis. It can comprise genital skin folds as part of genital psoriasis, and it is one of the most commonly seen dermatoses of this area. There are few evidence-based studies about the treatment of intertriginous psoriasis involving genital skin folds. CASE PRESENTATION: The authors present a 42-year-old female patient with erythematous plaques in the vulva, groin, and perianal region. The patient had previously received a broad range of topical and systemic therapies that had to be discontinued due to ineffectiveness or side effects. She was treated with 100 mg dapsone daily for 10 months, showing a significant improvement of her cutaneous and mucous lesions. Complete clearance of psoriatic lesions was observed after 4 weeks of treatment. She has remained in remission for up to 2 years, using only topical therapy with tacrolimus 0.1% and calcipotriol. DISCUSSION: Genital psoriasis is a skin disease that causes great discomfort. It is important to include examination of the genital region and to adopt this conduct in daily clinical practice. Research in this field is still poor, making no discrimination between flexural and genital psoriasis, and is based on case series and expert opinion; therefore, empirical recommendations for the treatment of genital psoriasis remain. Dapsone has been shown to be an effective and convenient alternative for the treatment of inverse psoriasis in genital skin folds, which can provide effective control of the disease. Further studies are required to determine the efficacy and safety of current therapies, and to decide whether dapsone therapy should be considered in the management of this form of psoriasis when topical and other systemic agents are not effective.

Concepts: Medicine, Inverse psoriasis, Effectiveness, Patient, Scientific method, Sex organ, Skin, Psoriasis


INTRODUCTION: Rituximab is increasingly used in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV) who are nonresponders to conventional therapy. METHODS: A PubMed search was conducted using the words pemphigus vulgaris and rituximab therapy from papers published between 2000 and 2012. Two protocols were used. In the lymphoma protocol, patients received four weekly infusions of rituximab (dose 375 mg/m(2)). The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) protocol consisted of two infusions of 1,000 mg each 15 days apart. The variables recorded from each study included clinical remission off or on therapy, relapse rate, incidence of serious adverse events, concomitant therapies, duration of follow-up, and when available, levels of B cells and autoantibodies. RESULTS: Forty-two studies were found, which reported 272 patients; 180 were treated by the lymphoma protocol and 92 by the RA protocol. Both protocols were effective in treating recalcitrant PV. The lymphoma protocol had a lower response rate, relapse rate and serious infections, but higher mortality, and there were nonresponders. The RA protocol produced a higher response rate, relapse rate, number of infections, but lower mortality rate, and lacked nonresponders. The cumulative follow-up for patients treated with the lymphoma protocol was 15.44 months (range 1-41) and 21.04 months (range 8.35-29) for the RA protocol. A major concern in both protocols was the high infection rates, some of which were fatal. A different protocol using a combination of rituximab with intravenous immunoglobulin in a defined manner with a definitive endpoint, used in a limited cohort of patients, showed promising results. CONCLUSION: Neither protocol produced a sustained clinical remission and both required continued systemic therapy. Before initiation of treatment, physicians should have a specific goal and endpoint and be aware of its potential side effects and lack of information on its long-term effects. Patients should be carefully monitored during and after therapy.

Concepts: Medical statistics, Antibody, Actuarial science, Clinical trial, Rituximab, Immune system, Pemphigus, Rheumatoid arthritis