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Acquired blaschkoid dermatitis

Author: V.N.Hiromel de Silva, Dermatology Registrar, Waikato Hospital, New Zealand, 2008.

What is acquired blaschkoid dermatitis?

Acquired blaschkoid dermatitis is a rare skin condition of unknown cause. It was first described in 1990 by Grosshans and Marot in Bordex, France.

It is also known as Blaschkitis, or, idiopathic dermatitis along the lines of Blaschko. It may represent the adult form of lichen striatus.

What are the clinical features of acquired blaschkoid dermatitis?

This condition is an inflammatory skin condition resembling dermatitis or eczema i.e.,it presents with dry, red irritable skin lesions. It is not present at birth, hence the term acquired .

Acquired blaschkoid dermatitis is unilateral, i.e., it only affects one side of the body. As its name would suggest, the skin lesions occur along Blaschko lines.

The lesions may resolve spontaneously but they have a tendency to relapse over time, especially at times of stress.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis of acquired blaschkoid dermatitis is made clinically because of its characteristic appearance.

Sometimes a skin biopsy is required to distinguish it from other skin conditions that may arise in Blaschko lines. Histopathological examination shows spongiotic dermatitis.

What is the treatment for acquired Blaschkoid dermatitis?

Mild blaschkoid dermatitis may not require any specific treatment. Dryness may be managed with an emollient.

Generally topical steroid creams are ineffective. There are several case reports in which systemic steroid therapy was effective.

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