Dermoscopy and patch testing in patients with lichen planus pigmentosus on face: A cross-sectional observational study in fifty Indian patients

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017 Nov-Dec;83(6):656-662. doi: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_469_16.


Background: Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP) is a common cause of facial melanosis in the dark-skinned population. At present, information on dermoscopy and patch testing in LPP is limited.

Objectives: To describe dermoscopic findings and study the role of patch testing in patients with LPP on the face.

Methods: Facial lesions of 50 patients with LPP were studied dermoscopically, followed by histological evaluation. Patch and photopatch tests with the Indian Standard Series and Scandinavian series, respectively, and patient's own cosmetics were performed on all patients.

Results: The most common dermoscopic finding was dots and/or globules (43/50, 86%) in different patterns: hem-like (20.9%), arcuate (18.6%), incomplete reticular (39.5%), complete reticular (7%), and not otherwise specified (14%). Other patterns were exaggerated pseudoreticular pattern, accentuation of pigmentation around follicular openings, targetoid appearance, and obliteration of the pigmentary network. There were 26 relevant patch tests in 17 (34%) patients: para-phenylenediamine (n = 5), nickel (n = 3), colophony, perfume mix and fragrance mix (n = 2 each), thiuram mix and 3,3,4,5-tetrachlorosalicylanilide (n = 1 each), and patients' own products (n = 9). The only positive photopatch test was to fentichlor. No clinical or histological finding differed significantly based on patch test results. The only dermoscopic finding to be statistically associated with a positive patch test was the non-characteristic arrangement of dots/globules (P = 0.042).

Limitations: Dermoscopic features were not correlated with clinical features or disease duration. Implications of patch testing on the management of LPP cannot be commented upon as ours was a cross-sectional study.

Conclusions: The present study describes the dermoscopic findings of facial lesions in LPP. Our patch test results suggest a probable role of allergens in causing LPP on the face.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermoscopy / methods*
  • Face / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / diagnosis*
  • Hyperpigmentation / epidemiology
  • Hyperpigmentation / immunology
  • India
  • Lichen Planus / diagnosis*
  • Lichen Planus / epidemiology
  • Lichen Planus / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patch Tests / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult