Cutaneous sarcoidosis: a dermatologic masquerader

Am Fam Physician. 2002 Apr 15;65(8):1581-4.


Sarcoidosis is a multisystem disease that may involve almost any organ system; therefore, it results in various clinical manifestations. Cutaneous sarcoidosis occurs in up to one third of patients with systemic sarcoidosis. Recognition of cutaneous lesions is important because they provide a visible clue to the diagnosis and are an easily accessible source of tissue for histologic examination. Because lesions can exhibit many different morphologies, cutaneous sarcoidosis is known as one of the "great imitators" in dermatology. Specific manifestations include papules, plaques, lupus pernio, scar sarcoidosis, and rare morphologies such as alopecia, ulcers, hypopigmented patches, and ichthyosis. Treatment of cutaneous lesions can be frustrating. For patients with severe lesions or widespread involvement, the most effective treatment is systemic glucocorticoids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / pathology