Reticular erythematous mucinosis
What is reticular erythematous mucinosis?
Reticular erythematous mucinosis (REM) is rare form of cutaneous mucinosis. It most often affects middle-aged women. It is also called ‘midline mucinosis’ or ‘plaque-like cutaneous mucinosis’. Papules (small bumps) develop on the mid-back or chest and form a net-like pattern (hence the name, ‘reticular’).
What is the cause of REM?
The cause is unknown. However, exposure to sunlight may contribute to the condition. Generally, REM is not associated with other systemic diseases but it can appear very similar to mucinosis developing in association with systemic lupus erythematosus.
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made by skin biopsy, which shows typical mucinous deposits between bundles of collagen in the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis.
REM usually responds well to treatment:
- Sun avoidance and protection, including appropriate clothing, hat and broad spectrum 50+ SPF sunscreen
- Antimalarial tablets (hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine); these act as anti-inflammatories
- Topical and oral corticosteroids
- Pulsed dye laser has also been reported to be effective