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Disorders exhibiting papules and scale.


A chronic, recurrent disorder. Classic lesion is a well-marginated, erythematous plaque with silvery-white surface scale. Distribution includes extensor surfaces (i.e., knees, elbows, and buttocks); may also involve palms and scalp (particularly anterior scalp margin). Associated findings include psoriatic arthritis (Chap. 172) and nail changes (onycholysis, pitting or thickening of nail plate with accumulation of subungual debris).


Maintain cutaneous hydration; topical glucocorticoids; topical vitamin D analogue (calcipotriol) and retinoid (tazarotene); UV light (PUVA when UV used in combination with psoralens); for severe disease methotrexate or cyclosporine; acitretin can also be used but is teratogenic. Alefacept (dimeric fusion protein: LFA-3/Fc human IgG1), or ustekinumab (human monoclonal antibody that blocks IL-12 and IL-23) can be considered for chronic, moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Etanercept (dimeric fusion protein: TNF receptor/Fc human IgG1), infliximab, and adalimumab (monoclonal antibodies directed against TNF) are approved for psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis.


A self-limited condition lasting 3–8 weeks. Initially, there is a single 2- to 6-cm annular salmon-colored patch (herald patch) with a peripheral rim of scale, followed in days to weeks by a generalized eruption involving the trunk and proximal extremities. Individual lesions are similar to but smaller than the herald patch and are arranged in symmetric fashion with long axis of each individual lesion along skin lines of cleavage. Appearance may be similar to that of secondary syphilis.

TREATMENT Pityriasis Rosea

Disorder is self-limited, so treatment is directed at symptoms; oral antihistamines for pruritus; topical glucocorticoids; UV-B phototherapy in some cases.


Disorder of unknown cause; can follow administration of certain drugs and in chronic graft-versus-host disease; lesions are pruritic, polygonal, flat-topped, and violaceous. Course is variable, but most pts have spontaneous remissions 6–24 months after onset of disease.

TREATMENT Lichen Planus

Topical glucocorticoids.



Eczema, or dermatitis, is a reaction pattern that presents with variable clinical and histologic findings; it is the final common expression for a number of disorders.


One aspect of atopic triad of hayfever, asthma, and eczema. Usually an intermittent, chronic, severely pruritic, eczematous dermatitis with scaly erythematous patches, vesiculation, crusting, and fissuring. Lesions are most commonly on flexures, with prominent involvement of antecubital and popliteal fossae; generalized erythroderma in severe cases.

TREATMENT Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis

Avoidance of irritants; cutaneous hydration; topical glucocorticoids; treatment of infected lesions [often with Staphylococcus aureus (SA)—consider community-acquired methicillin-resistant strains (CA-MRSA)]. Systemic glucocorticoids only for severe exacerbations unresponsive to topical conservative therapy.


A delayed hypersensitivity reaction that occurs after cutaneous exposure to an antigenic substance. Lesions occur at site of ...

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