Drugs associated with development of porokeratosis: A systematic review

Dermatol Ther. 2021 Jan;34(1):e14560. doi: 10.1111/dth.14560. Epub 2020 Dec 1.


Porokeratosis is a rare disorder characterized by atrophic macules or patches, with a well-defined ridge-like hyperkeratotic border called cornoid lamella. Although the exact pathogenesis is unknown, drug associated cases have recently been reported in the literature. As such, we systematically reviewed and identified drugs associated with drug-induced porokeratosis, their resultant effects, and whether there was a casual relationship between the use of a drug and the development of porokeratosis. We searched for articles which reported drug-induced porokeratosis in MEDLINE and Embase in June 2020. After full-text review, 25 studies were included for analysis. We identified 26 patients with drug-induced porokeratosis. The most common therapies associated with development of porokeratosis is biologic use, phototherapy, and radiotherapy. The most common clinical variants were the disseminated superficial or actinic types (60%), which occurred in psoriasis patients undergoing phototherapy, and eruptive disseminated type (24%) which occurred in the context of biologic therapies. The Naranjo score ranged from possible to probable for the identified treatments. Clinicians should consider drug reactions as possible triggering events for porokeratosis, especially for patients taking biologics, phototherapy, and radiotherapy. Large-scale studies are required to confirm our findings and further explore the pathogenesis for drug-induced porokeratosis.

Keywords: adverse drug reaction; biologic; disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis; eruptive; phototherapy; porokeratosis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Exanthema*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Phototherapy
  • Porokeratosis* / chemically induced
  • Porokeratosis* / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations