Acquired Ichthyosis Revealing Lymphocytic Colitis

Skinmed. 2023 Nov 10;21(5):370-371. eCollection 2023.


A 69-year-old patient with no personal or family history of ichthyosis consulted our dermatology department for diffused cutaneous xerosis with intense pruritus evolving for 3 weeks. Physical examination revealed diffused ichthyosis of large polygonal fine scales on the skin without erythema (Figure 1). The lesions spared the face. Examination of the mucous membranes, hair, and nails revealed no abnormalities. There was no fever or adenomegaly. A skin biopsy revealed an orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis with thinning of granular layer (Figure 2). The initial diagnosis of acquired ichthyosis was maintained. The patient also reported a change in bowel habits since 2 weeks with watery, non-bloody diarrhea and mild steatorrhea. His laboratory investigations presented low serum vitamin B12 level, mild anemia, hypoalbuminemia, and fecal leukocytes; however, antinuclear antibodies, perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA), rheumatoid factor, and complement components C3 and C4 were normal. A colonoscopy performed was also normal without any abnormalities. Colon biopsies revealed histologic aspects of lymphocytic colitis with more than 20% increase in lymphocytes in the surface epithelium of colorectal mucosa. Laboratory investigations excluded neoplasia, hemopathies, or autoimmune-associated diseases. The patient was treated with salazopyrin with a remarkable lessening of diarrhea and cutaneous manifestations within 4 weeks (Figure 3).

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colitis, Lymphocytic* / diagnosis
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Ichthyosis* / diagnosis
  • Ichthyosis* / etiology
  • Skin

Supplementary concepts

  • Acquired ichthyosis