Histopathology of drug eruptions - general criteria, common patterns, and differential diagnosis

Dermatol Pract Concept. 2011 Jan 31;1(1):33-47. doi: 10.5826/dpc.0101a09.


Drug eruptions are among the most common inflammatory diseases of the skin and also among those biopsied most often. Yet, the value of histopathologic examination of drug eruptions has often been disputed. One reason is that the spectrum of histopathologic changes in drug eruptions is broad. Nevertheless, each histopathologic pattern assumed by drug eruptions has a limited number of differential diagnoses, and numerous criteria and clues are available to distinguish drug eruptions from other diseases associated with those patterns. By recognition of common patterns, consideration of differential diagnoses, and attention to distinct clues, a histopathologic diagnosis of drug eruption can usually be made with confidence.

Keywords: drug eruptions; histopathology; skin.

Publication types

  • Review