Injection Site Lichenoid Dermatitis Following Pneumococcal Vaccination: Report and Review of Cutaneous Conditions Occurring at Vaccination Sites

Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2016 Jun;6(2):287-98. doi: 10.1007/s13555-016-0105-x. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Background: Cutaneous dermatoses and malignancies have occurred at the sites of vaccines.

Purpose: To describe a man who developed a lichenoid dermatitis at the pneumococcal vaccine injection site and to review cutaneous dermatoses and malignancies occurring at vaccination sites.

Methods: PubMed was used to search the following terms, separately and in combination: adverse, condition, cutaneous, dermatosis, dermatitis, injection, PCV13, pneumococcal, pneumonia, prevnar, reaction, skin, site, vaccination, and vaccine. All papers were reviewed, and relevant manuscripts, along with their reference citations, were evaluated.

Results: Several vaccines-including bacillus Calmette-Guerin, hepatitis B, influenza, leishmaniasis, meningitis, pneumococcal, smallpox, tetanus (alone and in combination with diphtheria, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenza type B or plague and yellow fever), and varicella-zoster-have been associated with post-vaccination site reactions. A 70-year-old male developed a lichenoid dermatitis that occurred at the pneumococcal vaccine injection site within 2 weeks after PCV13 vaccination; the erythematous nodule resolved spontaneously within 9 weeks following immunization.

Conclusions: Dermatoses at the injection sites of vaccines can be granulomatous, immunity-related conditions, infections, lichenoid, neutrophilic, or pseudolymphomatous. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common vaccination site-associated malignancies; however, melanoma and sarcomas (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, fibrosarcoma, and malignant fibrous histiocytoma) are also smallpox vaccine-related site neoplasms. A cutaneous immunocompromised district that is created by vaccine-induced local immunologic changes is hypothesized to be the pathogenesis of vaccination site reactions.

Keywords: Adverse reaction; Cutaneous; Dermatitis; Dermatosis; Injection; PCV13; Pneumococcal; Pneumonia; Prevnar; Vaccine.