The Koebner phenomenon: review of the literature

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2002 May;16(3):241-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1473-2165.2002.00406.x.


First described in 1877 as the appearance of psoriatic lesions in the uninvolved skin of psoriatic patients as a consequence of trauma, the Koebner phenomenon has since been described in numerous diseases. Other authors have tried to implicate either infections or parasitic causes as the pathogenesis of this phenomenon. Subsequent research by many authors have contributed to our poor understanding of this reaction in the hope of understanding the pathogensis of psoriasis. We present a review of the literature covering the following topics as they relate to the Koebner phenomenon: diseases that koebnerize and their possible causes, predisposing and provoking factors, type, site, depth and degree of trauma, the all or none phenomenon, time lag, site preference, medications, inhibition of koebnerization and reverse koebnerization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Psoriasis / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / physiopathology