Photo Rounds

Nodules, tumors, and hyperpigmented patches

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Empiric therapy for common skin conditions failed to improve this patient’s longstanding skin eruption. Serial biopsies ultimately revealed an uncommon diagnosis.


 

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A 36-year-old African-American man presented to our clinic for evaluation of a chronic “rash” on his trunk, arms, and legs that had been present for 3 years. Empiric therapy for tinea corporis, nummular eczema, and confluent and reticulated papillomatosis had failed to improve his lesions.

Physical examination revealed a widespread skin eruption consisting of well-demarcated, hyperpigmented, scaly patches and plaques distributed throughout the patient’s trunk and extremities. Initial biopsies of the skin lesions (performed at an outside institution prior to current presentation) were nondiagnostic.

Over the next several months, the patient developed numerous cutaneous nodules and tumors within the background of his persistent patches and plaques (FIGURE). These nodules and tumors intermittently disappeared and recurred, seemingly independent of therapies including psoralen and ultraviolet A phototherapy (PUVA), interferon, and methotrexate.

Widespread patches, plaques, and nodules on the arm and flank.

WHAT IS YOUR DIAGNOSIS?
HOW WOULD YOU TREAT THIS PATIENT?

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