LICHEN ON DARK SKIN
Calcaterra R., Franco G., Padovese V., Terranova M., Morrone A.
17th CONGRESS OF THE EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY AND VENEREOLOGY
Paris, 17-21 September 2008
TT02.123 LICHEN ON DARK SKIN
R. Calcaterra1, G. Franco2, V. Padovese3, M. Terranova3, A. Morrone4
1Department of Research, National Institute for health, migration and poverty,
2Department of Preventive Medicine for Migration, Tourism and Tropical
Dermatology, San Gallicano Institute, Rome, Italy, 3Italian Dermatological Centre,
IDC, Mekele, Ethiopia, 4Director General, National Institute for health, migration and
poverty, Rome, Italy
Background. Lichen, in its diverse clinical variants, is a rather common inflammatory diseases, spread worldwide, often following a chronic recurring course. The diagnosis, based on clinical aspects and on histological features, is not usually
particularly difficult if it is done on fair-skinned patients. In dark-skinned people, instead, the diagnosis of lichen cannot take advantage of the erythematous component, and therefore particular attention must be given to other characteristic
signs, such as the elementary lesion, the distribution and some particular clinical features.
Objectives. The authors present a study of the diverse clinical variants on dark skin, with special reference to annular forms and to the types of particular importance in the differential diagnosis with other cutaneous inflammatory pathologies.
Methods. We analyzed the cases of lichen, confirmed histologically, observed at the Italian Dermatological Centre (IDC) in Mekele, capital of Tigray, the northern region of Ethiopia, between January and December 2007.
Results. We observed 235 cases of lichen, ranging from lichen ruber planus, actinicus, striatus, verrucosus, tropicus and erosive.
Conclusions. Lichen is characterized by numerous individual variants, some of these observed particularly on dark-skinned people. The lesions are usually more pigmented, thickened, and hypertrophic. Bullous and ulcerative lesions are more
frequent compared to the fair skin. Moreover, some variants are more frequent in dark people, like lichen attinicus,
tropicus and ruber planus.
References: 1. Yamanaka Y, Akiyama M, Shibaki A, et al. Annular lichen planus:
study of cellular mechanisms of annularity. Dermatology 2004;208(4):335-8.
2. Meads SB, Kunishige J, Ramos-Caro FA, Hassanein AM. Lichen planus actinicus. Cutis 2003 Nov;72(5):377-81.
3. Abdel-Naser MB, Verma SB, Abdallah MA. Common dermatoses in moderately pigmented skin: uncommon presentations.