Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Acitretin-induced periungual pyogenic granulomas and review


Periungual pyogenic granulomas are benign vascular tumors that present as painful, round, spontaneously bleeding lesions composed of rapidly proliferating capillaries and excess tissue. The vast majority of pyogenic granulomas are caused by physical trauma or infectious agents and they may resolve spontaneously. Herein, we highlight a very rare case of periungual pyogenic granulomas induced by the regularly prescribed oral retinoid acitretin during treatment for congenital palmoplantar keratoderma. This unique case showed that it is feasible to continue acitretin therapy in the presence of pyogenic granuloma development if proper dose reduction and topical therapies are utilized. The patient's lesions resolved within two weeks of this protocol's initiation and the pyogenic granulomas did not recur over the course of a six-month follow-up observation period. In addition, we performed a systematic review of the literature using PubMed databases for the clinical features and treatments in other reported acitretin-induced pyogenic granuloma cases; we compiled a comprehensive list of other prescription drugs known to cause pyogenic granulomas up-to-date.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View