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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 26, Issue 1, 2020


The evolving maintenance of certification process: update on the financial status of the medical boards

Medical board organizations have accumulated large asset balances, in part due to the monetization of physician board recertification, as well as capital gains in positive investment conditions. Physicians across the country have raised concerns regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of existing recertification processes, to which the American Board of Medical Specialties and independent accreditation boards have responded with newly instituted changes. The present article analyzes the publicly available F990 tax forms of the medical boards in an effort to provide data to the ongoing debate. Although some boards have begun to mobilize assets in recent years, many continue to accumulate wealth. It remains to be seen whether the new recertification programs will bring about change or perpetuate organizational wealth.

Long-term follow-up of 22 psoriatic patients treated with ixekizumab after failure of secukinumab

Switching of biologic agents in treatment of plaque psoriasis is a common strategy. Only a few studies are available on switching between IL17A-blockers. In a retrospective study, we identified 22 psoriasis patients who, after failing secukinumab as a first IL17A-blocker received ixekizumab with an observation period of at least 24 weeks. At last observation 10/22 patients had a good response (PASI75 or PASI<3) using ixekizumab therapy. None of five patients with primary non-response to secukinumab reached a good, durable response to ixekizumab. In conclusion, ixekizumab appears to be a therapeutic option as a second IL17A-blocker in psoriasis patients who did not show a primary non-response to secukinumab.

Widening the scope of virtual reality and augmented reality in dermatology

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making headlines, pushing the boundaries of educational experiences and applicability in a variety of fields. Medicine has seen a rapid growth of utilization of these devices for various educational and practical purposes. With respect to the field of dermatology, very few uses are discussed in the literature. We briefly present the current status of VR/AR with regard to this specialty.

Case Report

Disseminated cutaneous gout: a rare manifestation of a common disease

Disseminated cutaneous gout is a rare atypical cutaneous manifestation of gout in which widespread dermal and subcutaneous tophi develop at extra-articular body sites. Given the lack of joint involvement that is typically a feature in tophaceous gout, the diagnosis may not be initially suspected. We present the case of a 50-year-old Hispanic man with poorly controlled gout who was evaluated for several years of firm papulonodules over the trunk and upper and lower extremities, sparing the joints; histopathology confirmed, the diagnosis of disseminated cutaneous gout. Per our literature review, disseminated cutaneous gout presents with polymorphous papules and nodules that can mimic other, more common cutaneous diseases. There is a preponderance of cases in males, Asians, and patients with longstanding gout. The lower extremities are involved in nearly all reports. Uric acid-lowering therapy with allopurinol has been reported to decrease the size and number of lesions in a minority of treated patients.

Case Presentation

Linear verrucous epidermal nevus with oral manifestations: report of two cases

Linear verrucous epidermal nevi (LVEN) are characterized by verrucous papules often coalescing into well-demarcated skin-colored or brown plaques following the lines of Blaschko. We present two new cases of LVEN with oral mucosa involvement and briefly discuss this very rare finding. In both cases, oral biopsies showed hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, and papillomatosis. Although several treatment modalities have been reported for the cutaneous lesions, there is no consensus for the management of oral lesions so far.

Guttate leukoderma and acrokeratosis verruciformis of Hopf: a rare combination in Darier disease

A distinct Darier phenotype presenting with confetti-like hypopigmented macules was first described in 1965. Designated as "guttate leukoderma," this skin finding is a rarely-reported presentation of Darier disease. It has been theorized that the mutation in ATP2A2 causes defective E-cadherin, which in turn disrupts the adhesion of melanocytes to keratinocytes, thus leading to impaired dendrite formation, hindered melanin transfer, and ultimately to melanocyte apoptosis. Herein, we contribute a case of a 56-year old woman who presented with the rarely-described guttate leukoderma of Darier disease and acrokeratosis verruciformis of Hopf.

Woolly hair nevus: case report and review of literature

Woolly hair nevus consists of a patch of curly and hypopigmented hair that is restricted to an area of the scalp. It is usually benign but it can be associated with other systemic findings. Trichoscopy and dermoscopy may be useful when analyzing this entity. The authors describe a case of woolly hair nevus in a 5-year-old boy and present a review of the literature of woolly hair nevus, including classification, histopathology, associated systemic findings, and the recent described genetic mutations.

Necrosis grasa subcutánea múltiple: correlación ecográficohistopatológica. Multiple encapsulated fat necrosis: histopathological relation to ultrasound findings

Encapsulated fat necrosis is a benign entity that has multiple possible conditions in the differential diagnosis. Because of this, the ultrasound and histological studies become highly relevant. We present a 14-year-old boy with this condition who exhibited numerous nodules that were detected after an intentional weight loss of 20kg. The ultrasound and histopathological examinations were necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Even though there is not a clear traumatic record in all cases, trauma constitutes the main hypothesis for its development, by decreasing the blood supply to the adipose tissue lobules and causing subsequent ischemic necrosis. Similar lesions have been described in the omentum and in the breast after surgical procedures or invasive diagnostic tests. In the ultrasound study, at least three presentation patterns have been described, which might match the three histological states, from early fat tissue degeneration to ultimate necrosis and even calcification. It is important to know the clinical characteristics, the ultrasound patterns, and the histological findings of this condition for an accurate diagnosis.

Photo Vignette

Ulcerative C2 neurocutaneous dysesthesia (trigeminal trophic syndrome in an alternative distribution)

Trigeminal trophic syndrome is an uncommon condition characterized by paresthesia, itch, and self-inflicted wounds following the trigeminal dermatome(s). Similar processes adhering to cervical nerve distributions have been reported, calling into question the specificity of trigeminal trophic syndrome for the trigeminal network. Herein, we report patient with trigeminal trophic syndrome adhering to the C2 dermatome, a previously unreported distribution.

Acremonium nail bed mycetoma masquerading as subungual squamous cell carcinoma

Acremonium is a large fungal genus that is comprised of approximately 150 species, found ubiquitously in nature. Although the majority are recognized as being saprophytes in soil and pathogens of plants, several species are emerging as causative agents of a variety of human infections, including mycetomas. Herein, we present a young man that was referred to our department with a painful subungual mass that developed following traumatic inoculation of Acremonium spp. In recent years, the role of Acremonium spp. has been increasingly recognized in localized infections, such as mycetoma, in humans. Other locally invasive as well as disseminated infections are also described. Optimal treatment of Acremonium spp. mycetoma is not well defined owing to the rarity of cases, thus posing a therapeutic challenge.

Benign symmetric lipomatosis in the tongue: an uncommon case

Symmetric lipomatosis of the tongue (SLT) is rare and characterized by diffuse growth and unencapsulated lipomas. An 87-year-old man was referred for evaluation of tongue lesions. Intraoral findings showed soft yellowish nodules with a smooth shiny surface diffusely on the lateral border of the tongue, bilaterally. Our clinical diagnosis was multiple tongue lipomas and an incisional biopsy was done. Histopathological examination revealed unencapsulated lobules of mature adipocytes with slight variation in the size and shape, confirming the diagnosis of lipoma. The final diagnosis was SLT. On follow-up at 6 months, the tongue findings were unchanged and no new lesions were observed.

A nodule on the forearm

Glomus tumors are benign tumors of the skin. Clinically, these tumors can present as solid, painful subcutaneous nodules, frequently seen on the hand (particularly subungual region). Glomangiomyomas are the least common histological type of glomus tumor. In the literature, there are only a few glomangiomyoma cases of the forearm location. We report a patient with a painful nodule, diagnosed as glomangiomyoma. Surgical excision was performed and no recurrence was observed after 5 years' follow-up.

Apparent darkening of scalp hair related to pili multigemini Following dabrafenib and trametinib

The combination of dabrafenib and trametinib is an important immunotherapy option for patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma. This regimen has been reported to cause cutaneous eruptions. However, hair dysmorphology is not a reported side effect to these or any other medications to date. Herein, we highlight a case of pili multigemini formation in a patient with stage IV melanoma receiving treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib and the corresponding clinical findings.


Toxic epidermal necrolysis after radiotherapy for pleomorphic liposarcoma

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) are life-threatening, cutaneous reactions often associated with culprit drugs. A growing body of knowledge has deepened our understanding of the pathophysiology and clarified mechanisms such as drug-specific cytotoxicity mediated by T-cells, genetic linkage with HLA and non-HLA genes, TCR restriction, and cytotoxicity mechanisms. Physicians should broadly consider the etiology of SJS/TEN in order to better understand treatment strategies as well as identify which patients may be at risk for developing this condition. Mechanisms for how radiotherapy and rare malignancies may contribute to the development of TEN and SJS have been proposed.

SOX10 commonly stains scar in Mohs sections

Sox10 immunostaining is used for the diagnosis and margin evaluation of melanocytic lesions. Sox10 was initially thought not to stain fibrohistiocytic processes. Consequently, it was believed to reliably distinguish desmoplastic melanoma from scar. However, recent data from formalin sections suggest Sox10 is less specific than previously thought. In this report, we demonstrate that Sox10-stained Mohs sections commonly show strong, fractional staining of scar. When using Sox10 with frozen section immunohistochemistry, Mohs practitioners should recognize the potential of this marker to stain scar to avoid overdiagnosis of desmoplastic melanoma.

Gentian violet for pyoderma gangrenosum: a retrospective chart review

Pyoderma gangrenosum is a rare autoinflammatory skin disease. Treatment is multifactorial, addressing inflammation, pain, underlying disease, if present, and the wound. Gentian violet has been used for hundreds of years in a variety of dermatologic conditions for its anti-inflammatory properties. This study aims to evaluate gentian violet in wound healing for pyoderma gangrenosum. We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with pyoderma gangrenosum treated with gentian violet at the Wake Forest School of Medicine Department of Dermatology in the last 10 years. The primary outcome was clinical improvement. Of the 34 cases that met inclusion criteria, 70% improved with gentian violet, 24% had no documented change, 3% initially improved then worsened, and 3% had unclear results. Gentian violet is a safe and cheap treatment that may improve resolution of pyoderma gangrenosum lesions in addition to systemic therapy.

Analysis of common oral and topical dermatologic medication price variation by source

Online coupon retailers and pharmacies are popular sites that patients can access discounted medications when compared to cash prices. These sources are especially important for those patients without insurance. In our study, we analyzed commonly prescribed topical and oral medications and compared the cash prices to the discounted medications based on a typical month of usage. We found savings in every one of the medications that we analyzed, some with savings up to hundreds of dollars. Savings were present in all the sources analyzed, with the coupon-based programs often having the lowest price. We suggest certain alternative prescribing guidelines when considering patients who may not be able to afford cash prices of medications. Our hopes with this study are to quantify savings for discounted medications as well as to help physicians target more affordable medications for their patients.

Intralesional corticosteroid-induced hypopigmentation and atrophy

Intralesional corticosteroids are associated with various, uncommon, local adverse events [1]. Atrophy and hypopigmentation most commonlyremain localized to sites of injection. However, outward radiation in a linear, streaky pattern has been reported and is termed “perilesional/perilymphatic hypopigmentation or atrophy [2].” We report a case of this rare adverse event.