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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 22, Issue 11, 2016


Integrating The Integrated Skin Exam film into medical education



The mortality rate for melanoma continues to rise and the greatest improvement in melanoma survival is attributable to early detection with skin cancer screening exams. However, physicians feel that limited training in the examination of skin and limited clinical time both serve as barriers to adequately assess high-risk lesions.


To test the use of The Integrated Skin Exam film as an instructional tool to teach the examination of skin in a live classroom setting, outside of the purview of the original formal study.


Identical cross-sectional surveys were administered pre- and post-film to a class of first-year medical students at the time of viewing The Integrated Skin Exam film. Results were compared to the initial assessment of this film as a teaching tool in a research setting.


Of the maximum 182 possible surveys administered, we collected 148 pre-surveys and 142 post-surveys (81.3% and 78.0% 33 response rates, respectively). After viewing the film, students showed improvement in identification of high-risk demographic 34 groups (79.3% vs 58.9%, p<0.001) and high-risk anatomic sites in both women (91.9% vs 59.6%, p<0.001) and men (92% vs 35 62.1%, p<0.001). Students demonstrated increased confidence in the skin cancer examination (SCE) (52.2% vs 6.9%, p<0.001) and a greater proportion (74.4% vs 48.3%, p<0.001) of students believed less than 3 minutes was required to integrate a skin cancer exam (SCE) into the routine examination.


The Integrated Skin Exam film is a valuable training tool as proven by increased knowledge of, and improved attitudes about the 2 SCE after viewing the film. In addition, there was a striking similarity in outcomes when using this film in a live classroom 3 environment compared to the original study setting.

Factors correlated with residents’ decisions to enter academic dermatology

The demand for dermatologic services and training at academic medical centers has outpaced the growth in the field’s academic workforce. Recruitment of graduating residents has been proposed as a solution to the shortage of academic dermatologists. The purpose of this study was to further our current understanding of the factors that support the recruitment and retention of academicians. A survey questionnaire was mailed to graduates of the dermatology residency program at the University of North Carolina, and data were gathered retrospectively from participants’ residency application materials. The factors from residency applications that predicted initial practice setting and the driving factors behind the choice of initial practice in academia were analyzed using generalized linear models. Of the department’s 39 graduates between 2005 and 2014, 37 (95%) completed our survey. Sixteen graduates (43%) remained in academia upon completion of residency, whereas fourteen graduates (38%) are currently in academic practices. Those who had obtained a PhD before starting residency were more likely than their peers to initially accept academic positions (RR 2.73, 95% CL 1.64, 4.71, p = 0.05). However, other applicant characteristics available from residency application materials poorly predicted graduates’ likelihood of remaining in academia at the time of graduation. In free-text survey responses, graduates who joined academic practices upon completion of residency were significantly more likely to cite teaching opportunities (PR 3.01, 95% CL 1.60-5.78, p = 0.05) and practice environment (PR 2.97, 95% CL 1.51-6.37, p = 0.05) as factors that had strongly influenced their initial career decisions. Because it is difficult to predict which residency applicants will ultimately pursue careers in academia, promoting the desirable aspects of the academic practice setting during residency training may be a better strategy for addressing the academic workforce shortage than the selection of residency applicants who possess specific characteristics.Keywords:

Patient-provider communication, concordance, and ratings of care in dermatology: Results of a cross-sectional study

ObjectiveTo determine the impact of race concordance on patient perception of quality of dermatologic care.

Study designCross-sectional study.

SettingAcademic outpatient practices in the Departments of Dermatology of Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

ParticipantsThe study cohort comprised 124 participants including 6 providers and 118 established patients.

Main Outcome MeasuresWe hypothesized, a priori, that patients in race-discordant dyads would report lower ratings of participatory decision-making (PDM), satisfaction, trust in the provider, and similarities with providers.

ResultsPatients in race-discordant dyads reported less positive ratings on 4 out of 8 participatory decision-making questionnaire items (p values < 0.05), and were significantly more likely to perceive differences with providers in race and culture (p values < 0.05). These differences persisted to varying degrees after controlling for key confounders such as education and income level. Participants in race-concordant and race-discordant dyads did not differ in their perceptions of satisfaction or trust.

ConclusionsPatient perception of participation in the decision-making process and of shared similarities with their providers is attributable in varying degrees to race concordance. Continued strengthening of cultural competency skills during medical and dermatology residency training as well as increased diversification of the dermatologic workforce could attenuate the adverse influences of race discordance and other socioeconomic factors on patient-provider communication.


Patient viewing sessions: the patient experience

Background Dermatology grand rounds and clinical conferences often include patient viewing sessions, during which groups of dermatologists and trainees see and discuss patient cases.

Objective To understand experiences and attitudes of patients participating in patient viewing sessions.

Methods Questionnaires were given to patients immediately before and after patient viewing sessions and by mail 3 months after participating in patient viewing sessions.

Results Fifty one individuals responded to the survey during patient viewing sessions and 15 (29.4%) responded to the delayed survey three months after the patient viewing session. Of these, 98% and 80% of patients responded that grand rounds met their expectations in the immediate and 3 month surveys, respectively.

Conclusions Dermatology patient viewing sessions are valuable and satisfying for patients.

Misinformation is prevalent in psoriasis-related YouTube videos

Background Psoriasis patients seek information online, but little is known about their interaction with YouTube. We examined the quality of content in psoriasis-related YouTube videos and investigated their interactions with viewers.

Methods YouTube was searched using the term “psoriasis.” Relevant videos in English were independently categorized by two reviewers as useful, misleading, or patient view (regarding experience with psoriasis). Disagreements were settled by a third reviewer. Videos were rated on a Global Quality Scale (GQS) (1=poor, 5=excellent).

Results According to our reviewers, 17% of the 47 videos were useful, 21% were misleading, and 62% represented patient views. Mean GQS scores were 4.2 ± 1.3 for useful videos, 1.7 ± 0.7 for misleading videos, and 2.2 ± 1.1 for patient view videos (p<0.001). Video views per day did not differ among the categories (p=0.65), whereas useful videos had fewest “Likes” (useful: 31 ± 55, 33 misleading: 151 ± 218, patient views: 165 ± 325, p=0.06) and comments (useful: 9.8 ± 18.3, misleading: 64.1 ± 89.7, 124.9 ± 34 199.4, p=0.009).

Conclusions Useful videos were highest in quality but had similar viewership as misleading and patient view videos, with lower popularity and  engagement of users compared to other categories. Physicians and psoriasis patients should be aware of this pattern when pproaching YouTube as a resource.

Case Report

Subungual pleomorphic fibroma: a case report and review of the literature

We describe an interesting case of pleomorphic fibroma of the subungual region in a middle aged woman who presented with a recurrence of thickening, lateral ridging, and a midline split of the right third fingernail, 20 years after initial excision. Histology of the specimen demonstrated hyperchromatic stellate cells within the superficial corneum, which were CD34 positive, consistent with a pleomorphic fibroma. Pleomorphic fibroma is a rare mesenchymal neoplasm characterized by atypical spindled cells amidst a collagenous stroma. It is a benign, slow growing tumor that has only been reported in the subungual region twice previously. Although histology may show cellular atypia, the slow-growing benign nature of the tumor, reassuring features histologically i.e low cellularity, and lack of myxomatous change in the stroma, make a conservative approach to therapy reasonable.

Polydactyly in neurofibromatosis type I: a potential clue to diagnosis

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetic disorder characterized by variable phenotypic manifestations. The diagnostic criteria, 25 established in 1987, are broad to encompass these pleiotropic findings. Included are the specific osseous manifestations of 26 sphenoid dysplasia and dysplasia or thinning of the cortex of long bones. This review highlights recent evidence on the role of 27 neurofibromin in bone development and suggests consideration for additional diagnostic criteria.

Dermatological clues to the diagnosis of atypical complete DiGeorge syndrome

Atypical complete DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) is an extremely rare congenital disease characterized by an eczematous dermatitis, lymphadenopathy, and an oligoclonal T-cell proliferation. Because its initial presentation may be confused with other types of eczematous dermatitis, diagnosis and treatment are usually delayed. We describe herein a case of an infant with atypical complete DGS to draw attention to the clinical and histopathological findings that lead us to the diagnosis.

Case Presentation

Breast nodularity and ulceration: diffuse dermal angiomatosis a corticosteroid responsive disease

Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast (DDAB) is an uncommon ulcerative angiomatosis, which occurs in middle aged women with large pendulous breasts, a history of cigarette smoking, and risk factors for atherosclerosis. Based on its rarity, no well-defined therapeutic regimen has been elucidated. We report a case of DDAB in a woman with no history of smoking or radiographic evidence of occluded vasculature who presented with ulceration and pain-associated breast nodularity. She had a complete reproducible response to oral corticosteroids.

Acquired acrodermatitis enteropathica after gastric bypass surgery responsive to IV supplementation

Nutritional deficiency is rare in developed countries, but can be acquired from decreased nutrient intake, reduced absorption, and increased gastrointestinal excretion. We report a patient with acquired acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE) who exhibited low plasma zinc levels and concurrent nutritional deficiencies (pyridoxine, selenium and fatty acids). Our patient had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass 13 years prior to presentation. The rash, consistent with AE clinically and histologically, nearly resolved one week after starting IV zinc supplementation, total parenteral nutrition, and micronutrient supplements. This case highlights the importance of long-term post-operative follow-up for gastric bypass patients who are at high risk for micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies and illustrates the potential for rapid improvement with IV supplementation.

Localized cutaneous argyria: Report of two patients and literature review

BackgroundLocalized cutaneous argyria is a rare skin condition caused by direct contact with silver or silver particles. It presents as asymptomatic gray or blue-gray macules that appear similar to blue nevi. Histologic features include brown-colored or black-colored silver granules in the basement membrane and dermis, most commonly surrounding eccrine glands, elastic fibers, and collagen fibrils. The condition is most frequently observed in individuals who are regularly exposed to small silver particles, such as silversmiths and welders. However, localized cutaneous argyria has also been associated with acupuncture needles, silver earrings, and topical medications containing silver nitrate. Although the condition is benign, patients who are concerned about the cosmetic features of localized cutaneous argyria may benefit from laser therapy.

PurposeWe describe the clinical and pathologic findings of two women who developed localized cutaneous argyria. We also review the characteristics of other patients with localized cutaneous argyria and summarize the differential diagnosis and treatment options for this condition.

Materials and methodsThe features of two women with localized cutaneous argyria are presented. Using PubMed, the following terms were searched and relevant citations assessed: acquired localized argyria, acupuncture, argyria, argyrosis, colloidal silver, cutaneous argyria, and localized cutaneous argyria. In addition, the literature on localized cutaneous argyria is reviewed.

ResultsTwo women presented with small, asymptomatic blue-gray macules appearing at sites directly adjacent to ear piercings. A punch biopsy was performed on one woman. Microscopic examination revealed a yellowish-brown colored granular material found adjacent to elastic fibers. Based on correlation of the clinical presentation and histopathologic findings, a diagnosis of localized cutaneous argyria was established. The second woman did not undergo a biopsy. However, the clinical presentation was highly suggestive of localized cutaneous argyria. Both women were reassured of the benign nature of the condition and agreed to return for clinical follow-up if they observed any changes in the appearance of the lesions.

Linear trichoepithelioma on the neck of a 15-year-old girl

Trichoepitheliomas are trichogenic tumors that can have various clinical morphologies. These tumors are benign and differentiate toward the outer root sheath of the hair follicle. Solitary trichoepitheliomas arise sporadically, in contrast to multiple trichoepitheliomas, which are usually inherited as an autosomal dominant trait or as part of various genetic syndromes. We report a case of an adolescent female with a linear array of trichoepitheliomas on her left neck.

Photo Vignette

Periumbilical perforating pseudoxanthoma elasticum

A 50-year-old woman presented with a 2-year history of a yellowish plaque studded with red brown keratotic papules in the periumbilical region. Histopathological examination from the yellow plaque showed curled and granular elastic fibers in the mid and lower dermis. Histopathological examination from a keratotic papule showed pathological elastic fibers and dense chronic inflammatory cells around areas of perforation. Clinicopathological correlation established periumbilical perforating pseudoxanthoma elasticum as the final diagnosis.

Linear syringocystadenoma papilliferum on the retroauricular area associated with nevus sebaceus

Syringocystadenoma papilliferum is a rare cutaneous adnexal tumor that usually arises in the head and neck region. It may develop de novo or within a nevus sebaceus. Linear syringocystadenoma papilliferum is an uncommon variant of this benign tumor. We report a child with linear retroauricular distribution of syringocystadenoma papilliferum. A background nevus sebaceus was shown histologically. Total excision was curative with no recurrence. An association between the linear variant of syringocystadenoma papilliferum and nevus sebaceus has not been reported previously.

Asymptomatic and infiltrated plaque on the left cheek

Centrofollicular B Cell lymphomas constitute 25% of non-Hodgkin lymphomas that originate in the skin. They are the second in frequency of those lymphomas with extranodal location after gastrointestinal B lymphomas. The primary cutaneous centrofollicular lymphoma is characterized by the neoplastic proliferation of centrocytes and centroblasts confined to the skin. The prognosis is considered excellent with low probability of extracutaneous dissemination. We present a patient recently diagnosed in our unit with a good response to radiotherapy and complete resolution of the tumor with mild atrophy of the site.

A diagnostic challenge

A 74 year-old woman presented with a 9 month history of a slowly enlarging exophytic lesion over her left nasal alar. Examination revealed a firm, cystic mass fixed to underlying skin. It was pedunculated with occasional superficial telangiectasia and a violaceous hue. A differential diagnosis of dermoid or sebaceous cyst, dermatofibroma, and neurofibroma was considered. Histopathological examination confirmed the rare diagnosis of chondroid syringoma (CS), which has a reported incidence of 0.01- 0.098% of excised skin tumors. It is unusual for CS to present in an elderly woman, as these benign primary skin tumors normally present in adult males. Dermoscopy does not reveal any specific features and the diagnosis is difficult to make based on clinical examination alone.

A rare clinical manifestation of spinulate demodicosis

Demodicosis is a chronic skin disease caused by Demodex mites such as Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis. Demodex mites live in pilosebaceous units and they are regarded as a part of the normal skin flora. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that the presence of five or more mites per cm² by the standardized skin surface biopsy technique could be considered as pathogenic


Fluoroscopy induced chronic radiation dermatitis should be included in the differential diagnosis of notalgia paresthetica

We report a patient with radiation (fluoroscopic)-induced dermatitis that produced symptoms similar to notalgia paresthetica.

5-Fluorouracil-induced exacerbation of rosacea

Background Topical 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is an antineoplastic antimetabolite used for the treatment of actinic keratosis.

Purpose A 66-year-old man with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea and biopsy-confirmed actinic keratoses who experienced a rosacea exacerbation after initiating topical 5-FU treatment of his actinic keratoses is described and this adverse event associated with 5-FU is reviewed.

Materials and methods Using the following terms were searched and relevant citations were assessed: rosacea and 5-fluorouracil. 5-FU drug label information and data sheets also were reviewed.

ResultsErythematous facial papules developed within a week of starting topical treatment of his actinic keratoses with 5-FU. The lesions resolved within two weeks of discontinuing the medication. Albeit rarely, exacerbation of rosacea by topical 5-FU treatment has been described when 5-FU was introduced as a topical treatment for actinic keratosis.

Conclusion Topical 5-FU has been associated with several adverse cutaneous events, including accentuation of rosacea. Although rosacea flares due to topical 5-FU may be uncommon, the incidence may be greater than reflected in the literature. Physicians should be aware of this potential adverse effect in patients in whom they plan to initiate 5-FU therapy.

Two cases of halo scalp ring

Halo scalp ring (HSR) is a rare form of non-scarring annular alopecia that is attributed to caput succedaneum. It arises perinatally because of prolonged pressure on the scalp by the cervix during or before the delivery. We report two new cases of halo scalp ring in full term pregnancy - newborns.

Localized anagen effluvium and cataract development following an extended fluoroscopic interventional procedure

The skin and the eyes are prone to radiation-induced injury in fluoroscopic procedures. The degree of injury is related to various exposure and patient-related factors. We report a man who presented with an alopecic patch on the left occipital scalp following an extended fluoroscopically-guided endovascular procedure. He subsequently experienced complete hair regrowth, but was later diagnosed with a cataract in his left eye. To our knowledge this is the first report of both anagen effluvium and cataract development in a patient following fluoroscopic radiation exposure. It is important for dermatologists to be aware of these mucocutaneous side effects of radiation exposure to ensure proper management.

Habit tic nail deformity - a rare presentation in an 8 year old boy

Habit tic nail deformity is a nail dystrophy resulting from habitual, repetitive trauma to the nail. It is usually acquired in adulthood, however, we report a case of habit tic nail deformity in an 8 year old boy. The diagnosis was made clinically with further history revealing that the boy repeatedly rubbed his thumbnails and pushed the cuticles. Emollient cream (Balneum®) was recommended twice daily and both the patient and his mother were educated on the behavioral nature of this condition. There was marked improvement at 6 months of treatment and further improvement at 12 months.

We note that habit tic nail deformity is not exclusive to adults. Diagnosis can be made clinically. History and physical examination provide valuable clues and psychosocial links must be explored and addressed. Management is challenging and compliance with treatment is variable. Patient education, barrier methods, and behavioral therapy can be helpful in preventing further trauma to the nails.

Recruitment Advertisement

Job Recruitment - Novy

The University of California Davis, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology is recruiting for a full-time position at the Associate or Full Professor level in the Clinical X Series or Health Sciences Clinical Professor (HSCP) Series. The successful candidate is nominated to be the holder of the Frederick G. Novy, Jr. M.D Endowed Professorship. Appointees to the ClinX series are expected to conduct independent research. Both series require significant participation in teaching and University/public service.

Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeon

The University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, is recruiting for four academic dermatologists in the Clinical X series or Health Sciences Clinical Professor (HSCP) series at the Assistant/Associate/Professor level based on experience and qualifications. Three of these positions are for general medical dermatologists, and one is for a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon/procedural dermatologist. The appointments may be made up to 100%.