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Dermatology Online Journal

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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.

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