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The Meyerson phenomenon in a teenager

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The Meyerson phenomenon in a teenager
Carmelo Schepis MD, Maddalena Siragusa MD
Dermatology Online Journal 14 (2): 28

Unit of Dermatology, Oasi Institute (IRCCS), Troina, Italy.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Multiple perinevic dermatitis over the trunk

We evaluated a 12-year-old teenager because of the almost simultaneous occurrence, approximately 1 month earlier, of erythematous papulosquamous changes around small acquired nevi. On clinical examination we found at least seven nevi on the trunk (1.5-2.0 mm in diameter) surrounded by a ring of inflammation with irregular and not well defined margins (Fig. 1). We made a diagnosis of Meyerson phenomenon for which we did not require further exams and invited the parents to return after 6 months for a followup visit.

Meyerson (1971) firstly described two patients with a papulosquamous eruption surrounding some of the nevi on the trunk and limbs [1]. He reported the histology for both cases showing acanthosis, spongiosis, and parakeratosis associated with a lymphocytic perivascular infiltrate in the upper dermis. Meyerson hypothesized that these findings are an atypical form of pityriasis rosea. In subsequent reports, this eruption has been termed Meyerson phenomenon (MP)[2, 3], Meyerson nevus [4, 5], halo dermatitis, and halo eczema [6, 7].

Although Meyerson postulated this eruption to be the localization of pityriasis rosea around melanocytic nevi, that association is not clear. Even though pityriasis is common, MP is rare [8]. It more often involves a single nevus but may affect multiple nevi. Moreover, MP may occur around normal nevi, atypical nevi [2, 9], cutaneous tumors such as seborrheic keratoses [10], basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, dermatofibroma [11], keloid, stucco-keratosis, and insect bites [9].

The histological analysis shows parakeratosis, acanthosis and sometimes epidermal spongiosis. The upper dermis has a perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, sometimes with eosinophils [2, 4, 9, 10]. Thus, the histological exam has little value for the diagnosis of this condition.

The pathogenesis of MP is still unclear, even if the upregulation of ICAM-1 seems to suggest a role for these cytokines [12]. The lack of the expression of interleukin-2 receptor by T lymphocytes in the infiltrate suggests that the process differs from that of allergic contact dermatitis [13].

Meyerson phenomenon is rarely encountered in adults and even more rarely in children; some authors hypothesize that a greater awareness of this phenomenon by specialists would result in more numerous reports [14].

Meyerson phenomenon does not require treatment; it tends to disappear with time. Local application of cortisone [2, 3] can be taken employed in those cases with a particularly intense inflamation and pruritus [9]. For the differential diagnosis, it is important to consider halo nevus [2], pityriaris rosea [1], and the roseola of syphilis.

In conclusion, MP is rare event with an unclear pathogenesis and a benign and non recurring course.


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14. Shifer O, TchetchiK R, Glazer O, Metzker A. Halo dermatitis in children. Pediatric Dermatol 1992; 9: 275-277.

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