Study on linear dermatoses

Saraswathy P., Nithya Gayathri Devi D., Sivaranjani J.


Background: The objective of the study was to study the incidence, age and sex distribution, association, distribution, clinical presentation, histopathological correlation of linear dermatoses at the skin Outpatient Department.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted over a period of 1 year in 90 patients, attending the Department of Dermatology, at a tertiary care hospital, Chennai. Data collection, clinical examination and skin biopsy were recorded and analyzed statistically. Inclusion criteria were all patient with linear dermatoses. Exclusion criteria were Koebner phenomenon.

Results: The incidence of linear dermatoses in our outpatient department- 0.2% per year. Among the linear dermatoses, lichen striatus was found to be the most common. The other dermatoses following Blaschko’s lines, in the descending order of frequency seen in this study were linear epidermal nevus, linear lichen planus, linear morphoea, inflammatory linear verrucous epidermal nevus, segmental vitiligo, hypomelanosis of ito, linear lichenoid dermatitis, linear psoriasis, segmental neurofibromatosis, linear whorled nevoid hypermelanosis, incontinentia pigmenti, nevus depigmentosus, linear porokeratosis. Female preponderance was noted. Majority of patients showed unilateral distribution mostly on the extremities.

Conclusions: Most of the linear lesions are arranged along Blaschko’s line. The importance of histopathological correlation is obvious. Cases which were clinically diagnosed as lichen striatus, showed histopathological features of psoriasis and linear epidermal verrucous nevus. One case diagnosed clinically as epidermal nevus was found to be super imposed by psoriasis histologically. Another case clinically diagnosed as linear psoriasis clinically, was found to be linear porokeratosis on histopathology. Very few associations were noted.


Blaschko’s lines, Lichen striatus, Lichen planus

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