Cutaneous sarcoidosis

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Aug;31(4):442-51. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1262212. Epub 2010 Jul 27.


Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease with skin manifestations. Skin manifestations are classified as nonspecific if they are not characterized by granulomatous inflammation and specific if the lesions have granulomas histologically. Erythema nodosum is the most common nonspecific skin manifestation, and it portends a good prognosis. Specific skin lesions have a varied clinical appearance, although often they can be distinguished by their yellow translucent character. Despite the potential variable appearance, there are common clinical presentations. Lupus pernio lesions are nodular violaceous specific skin lesions found predominantly on the face associated with scarring and a poor prognosis. Treatment of cutaneous sarcoidosis is primarily done to avoid scarring and cosmetic disfigurement. Local and systemic corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment for the disease. Corticosteroid-sparing agents used to manage the disease include antimalarials, methotrexate, and tetracycline antibiotics. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) antagonists such as infliximab may have a role in cutaneous sarcoidosis, especially in refractory cases that are resistant to the standard regimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Erythema Nodosum / etiology
  • Erythema Nodosum / pathology
  • Erythema Nodosum / therapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology
  • Sarcoidosis / therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / therapy*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab