It is characterized by pruritic, erythematous papules, papulovesicles, and vesicles that appear in a reticular pattern, most commonly on the trunk. The lesions are typically followed by postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Although PP has been described in people of all races, ages, and sexes, it is predominantly observed in Japan, often in female young adults. Triggers may include a ketogenic diet, diabetes mellitus, and pregnancy. Friction and contact allergic reactions to chrome or nickel have been proposed as exogenous trigger factors. Individual cases of Sjögren’s syndrome, Helicobacter pylori infections, and adult Still syndrome have also been associated with recurrent eruptions.
The diagnosis of PP is made both clinically and by biopsy. The histological features vary according to the stage of the disease. In early-stage disease, superficial and perivascular infiltration of neutrophils are prominent. Later stages are characterized by spongiosis and necrotic keratinocytes.
The first-line therapy for prurigo pigmentosa is oral minocycline. However, for some patients, doxycycline, macrolide antibiotics, or dapsone may be indicated. Adding carbohydrates to a keto diet may be helpful. In this patient, a punch biopsy was performed, which revealed an interface dermatitis with eosinophils and neutrophils, consistent with prurigo pigmentosa. The cause of her PP remains idiopathic. She was treated with 100 mg doxycycline twice a day, which resulted in a resolution of active lesions. The patient did have postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
This case and photo were submitted by Brooke Resh Sateesh, MD, of San Diego Family Dermatology, San Diego, California, and Mina Zulal, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany. Dr. Bilu Martin edited the column.
Dr. Bilu Martin is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice at Premier Dermatology, MD, in Aventura, Fla. More diagnostic cases are available at mdedge.com/dermatology. To submit a case for possible publication, send an email to.
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