Interface dermatitis

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 May-Jun;79(3):349-59. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.110780.


Interface dermatitis includes diseases in which the primary pathology involves the dermo-epidermal junction. The salient histological findings include basal cell vacuolization, apoptotic keratinocytes (colloid or Civatte bodies), and obscuring of the dermo-epidermal junction by inflammatory cells. Secondary changes of the epidermis and papillary dermis along with type, distribution and density of inflammatory cells are used for the differential diagnoses of the various diseases that exhibit interface changes. Lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, lichen planus, graft versus host disease, erythema multiforme, fixed drug eruptions, lichen striatus, and pityriasis lichenoides are considered major interface diseases. Several other diseases (inflammatory, infective, and neoplastic) may show interface changes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis / pathology
  • Dermatology / methods*
  • Dermis / pathology*
  • Epidermis / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lichenoid Eruptions / diagnosis*
  • Lichenoid Eruptions / pathology