Authors: Dr Georgia M Moore, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia; Dr Monisha Gupta, Dermatologist, The Skin Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia. Conjoint, UNSW. DermNet NZ Editor-in-Chief: A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell. January 2019.
Annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth is a rare skin condition first described in 2003 . It is characterised by sharply demarcated annular erythematous macules and papules with central hypopigmentation .
Annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth was first described in young healthy individuals from the Mediterranean . The mean age of patients affected by this skin condition is 10 years . Cases in adults and older people are reported from central Europe, America and Japan [3,4].
An exact cause of annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth is yet to be discovered. It is believed to share pathogenic factors with other lichenoid dermatoses, like lichen planus, graft versus host disease, and lichenoid drug eruption, which involve a T-cell-mediated response and subsequent apoptosis of basal keratinocytes . The reasons why the rete ridges are targeted in annular lichenoid dermatitis are currently unknown.
Annular lichenoid dermatitis typically presents as asymptomatic rounded, oval or annular red-brown macules or patches. They start as erythematous macules with a raised border and develop central hypopigmentation as they gradually enlarge (Figure 1) . They are not itchy.
The lesions are found on the trunk, groin, and less frequently, the axillae . The individual is otherwise well, with no systemic symptoms.
Annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth is diagnosed on histopathology, with specific hallmark features. These are:
The lesions can reappear once treatment has been ceased . Spontaneous recovery without treatment can also occur, but this is uncommon.
Annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth slowly progresses, with no serious sequelae reported to date. The duration of annular lichenoid dermatitis of youth varies. Out of 21 cases described from 2005 to 2013, most lesions were successfully treated with topical corticosteroids but recurred once therapy was discontinued . There are few cases which demonstrated complete remission after treatment cessation, and one case which showed spontaneous regression without any treatment .
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