Alitretinoin treatment of lichen amyloidosis

Dermatol Ther. 2017 Nov;30(6). doi: 10.1111/dth.12537. Epub 2017 Sep 14.


Lichen amyloidosis (LA) is characterized by the deposition of amyloid that may respond to chronic scratching that may be secondary to atopic dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, or interface dermatitis. Despite the development of several therapeutic strategies, including topical steroids, oral antihistamines, cyclosporine, and retinoids, an effective treatment for LA has not been established. A 49-year-old woman who has been treated irregularly for atopic dermatitis for 7 years presented with localized brownish papules on the left forearm and right elbow. They developed 3 months prior and were becoming more prominent despite of treatment with cyclosporine, oral antihistamines, and topical steroids for 5 months prior to presentation. A skin biopsy revealed amyloid deposition in the dermal papillae and the patient was diagnosed with LA associated with atopic dermatitis. A 6-month course of daily oral alitretinoin 30 mg produced marked improvement in the thickness and color of the hyperkeratotic papules without aggravation of the patient's atopic dermatitis. Histologic evaluation showed clearance of amyloid deposition and almost normalization of the epidermal changes. Herein, we report a case of LA treated with alitretinoin and suggest that it could be a potential treatment option for LA, especially in patients with inflammatory skin diseases including atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: alitretinoin; atopic dermatitis; lichen amyloidosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Alitretinoin
  • Amyloidosis, Familial / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis, Familial / drug therapy*
  • Biopsy
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage*


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Alitretinoin
  • Tretinoin

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis IX
  • Amyloidosis, Primary Cutaneous