Author: Adjunct A/Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Clínica Ricardo Palma, Lima, Peru. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Adjunct A/Prof Amanda Oakley. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell. September 2018.
In lichenoid drug reactions the pathology is nearly identical to lichen planus. There is a dense, band-like lymphocytic infiltrate in dermis that obscures dermoepidermal junction, cytoplasmic vacuolisation of basal keratinocytes and apoptotic keratinocytes that degenerate into colloid bodies (figures 1,2). In addition, there are usually eosinophils in the infiltrate (best seen in figure 3).
None are generally needed.
Other diagnoses to be considered include any lichenoid dermatosis. The key differential is lichen planus. Clinical correlation can be very useful. Key histologic features seen in lichenoid drug eruptions, that are not common in idiopathic lichen planus, include the presence of eosinophils and the presence of prominent parakeratosis.
See the DermNet NZ bookstore.
© 2018 DermNet New Zealand Trust.
DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service. If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.