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Actinic lichen planus in a Japanese man: first case in the East Asian population

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Actinic lichen planus (ALP) is a rare variant of lichen planus in which lichen planus develops on the light-exposed areas of the skin. ALP is reported to occur in the African, Middle Eastern, and Indian populations, with very few cases reported in Caucasians. Here, we report a case of ALP in a Japanese man; to the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported occurence of ALP in the East Asian population. A 52-year-old Japanese man developed recurrent painful annular erythema on the face and hands. Histopathological examination of his skin biopsy revealed lichenoid-type infiltrates of lymphocytes and histiocytes. We established a diagnosis of ALP on the basis of the distribution of eruptions only on the sunlight-exposed areas and histological findings. Oral administration of systemic steroids proved effective in improving his condition. Lichen planus is known to be induced by an irritant (Koebner phenomenon); we believe that our patient is genetically susceptible to sunlight exposure and that sunlight acted as an irritant stimulating the development of ALP.

Keywords: Koebner phenomenon; actinic lichen planus; sunlight

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Izumo, Japan 2: Department of Geriatric and Environmental Dermatology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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