SUMMARY. Dermatitis cruris pustulosa et atrophicans (D.C.P.A.) occurs In 2·2% of new Nigerian skin outpatients in Ibadan. It affects predominantly young adults. The clinical picture is distinctive showing pustular folliculitis, cutaneous oedema, scale formation, atrophy, loss of skin markings and shininess symmetrically on both legs between the knee and ankle, mainly on the anterior surfaces. The lower margin of the eruption is remarkably abrupt and constant, but does not coincide with the lower limit of terminal hairs on the leg.

Mycological investigations have been uniformly negative. Bacteriological studies have isolated only the range of strains of Staphylococcus aureus commonly found as secondary invaders of skin lesions of other origin. D.C.P.A. is resistant to antibacterial agents.

A preliminary survey of the geographical distribution of the disorder within Africa and in other parts of the world has been based on personal communications from dermatologists with long experience of these regions.

It is suggested that the traditional practice of applying vegetable oils, especially coconut oil, may be an essential causative factor, and should he further investigated in field surveys and experimentally.

The literature on other recalcitrant pustular eruptions of the limbs is reviewed.