Bowen's Disease

Indian Dermatol Online J. 2022 Mar 3;13(2):177-189. doi: 10.4103/idoj.idoj_257_21. eCollection 2022 Mar-Apr.


Bowen's disease (BD) is an in-situ squamous cell carcinoma of epidermis. The etiology of BD is multifactorial with high incidence among Caucasians. BD is common in photo-exposed areas of skin, but other sites can also be involved. Lesions are usually solitary. The morphology of BD differs based on age of the lesion, site of origin, and the degree of keratinization. BD is considered as the "lull before the storm," which precedes an overt squamous cell carcinoma. Histopathology is the gold standard diagnostic modality to confirm the diagnosis. Immunohistochemistry, dermoscopy, and reflectance confocal microscopy are the adjuvant modalities used in the diagnosis of BD. The treatment depends on various factors like site, size, immune status, patient's age, esthetic outcome, etc. The available therapeutic modalities include topical chemotherapy, surgical modalities, light-based modalities, and destructive therapies. It requires a combined effort of dermatologist, oncosurgeon, and plastic surgeon to plan and execute the management in various presentations of BD.

Keywords: Bowen's disease; erythroplasia of Queyrat; squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review