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Dermatology Online Journal

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Lupus miliaris disseminatus faciei with complete response to isotretinoin


Lupus miliaris disseminatus faciei is an uncommon type of granulomatous rosacea characterized by a papular eruption in the central regions of the face. A 43-year-old woman presented with an asymptomatic papular eruption on the face that had developed over a period of five months. Physical examination revealed multiple, small, reddish-brown papules, distributed symmetrically on the central area of the face. A biopsy was taken, showing dermal epithelioid cell granulomas with central necrosis and surrounding lymphocytic infiltrate with multinucleate giant cells. No foreign bodies were found in granulomas and no mycobacterial or fungal components were detected. On the basis of these findings, the diagnosis of lupus miliaris disseminatus faciei was made. The patient was given oral isotretinoin 20mg/day with initial slow response. After 6 months' treatment the lesions completely disappeared. Many authors consider this entity to be a variant of granulomatous rosacea. It is a chronic condition that primarily affects young adults. Treatment is usually unsatisfactory. Therapies with corticosterois, tetracyclines, retinoids, clofazimine or topical tacrolimus have been described but there is a lack of controlled studies and convincing results. Our success with a 6-month course of low dose isotretinoin suggests consideration of a longer trial prior to abandoning this as treatment.

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