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Dermatology Online Journal

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Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp following surgical procedures: a systematic review


Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp (EPDS) occurs in elderly individuals with significant actinic damage. EPDS also occurs in association with surgery; however, significant studies determining an association of EPDS with type of surgical closure is absent. This review examines whether the closure method following cutaneous surgery performed on the scalp is associated with development of EPDS. Databases were reviewed and studies describing EPDS after cutaneous surgery met inclusion criteria. Articles were excluded if EPDS developed after trauma or non-surgical procedures. Descriptive analyses were performed on the data. Thirteen case reports and 6 case series involving 32 patients met inclusion criteria. Fourteen articles (73.7%) stated that EPDS developed in the same location as, or near to, the closure site. Thirteen patients (40.6%) developed EPDS following skin grafting. Three patients (9.4%) developed EPDS following secondary intention healing, two patients (6.3%) following repair by primary intention, and one patient (3.1%) following repair with a local skin flap. Thirteen cases (40.6%) did not specify closure type. This review revealed that surgical procedures performed on the scalp utilizing skin grafts for closure may be increasingly associated with the development of EPDS compared to other closure types.

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