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Pityriasis lichenoides in an Asian population


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Wei-Liang Koh, md
Department of Dermatology, Changi General Hospital
2 Simei Street 3
Singapore 529889


Background  There are few studies comparing pityriasis lichenoides (PL) in adults and children, with fewer involving Asians. We compared the clinical profile and treatment outcomes of 10 adults and five children diagnosed with PL.

Methods  We retrospectively reviewed a series of patients diagnosed with PL at our hospital from 2002 to 2008.

Results  We identified 10 adults and five children (nine adults and four children with pityriasis lichenoides chronica; one adult and one child with pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta). Mean age of onset of disease was 42.2 years in adults and 12.2 years in children. Median duration of disease before presentation was 5.5 months in adults and 6 months in children. Trunk and limbs were the most common sites of involvement. Itch was present in the majority. Almost all patients did not respond to topical corticosteroids. A good response was seen in three adults and two children treated with oral antibiotics. Three adults and two children responded to treatment with narrow-band ultraviolet B phototherapy. The median time to resolution was 8 months in adults and 21 months in children. Postinflammatory dyspigmentation was seen in six adults and four children.

Conclusion  PL presents similarly in adults and children; however, it runs a longer course in children. In our series, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was common, which may be explained by our patients’ darker skin phototypes. We routinely prescribe oral antibiotics initially in patients without contraindications. Phototherapy may be useful in patients not responding to antibiotics.