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Research Letter
February 2017

White Scale Sign for Xeroderma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(2):231-233. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4360

Xeroderma, also known as xerosis cutis, is a common condition that has become ever more important to diagnose in light of the number of aging patients. The condition is frequently seen among the elderly, but it has also been observed in younger patients affected by atopic dermatitis.1 The clinical features of xeroderma are flaky, dry, and cracked skin areas. Potentially because of its high frequency, xeroderma lacks diagnostic criteria and signs. Most clinicians tend to wait to make the diagnosis of xeroderma until they see several skin areas are flaky, dry, and cracked, and this tendency to delay the diagnosis until the condition is full-blown is unnecessary. Clear-cut, microscopic, early signs are therefore required. We propose a dermoscopic sign that, in our experience, invariably appears in pathologically dry skin areas.

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