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This Month in Archives of Dermatology
October 2002

This Month in Archives of Dermatology

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(10):1289. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.10.1289
Treatment of Chronic Erosive Oral Lichen Planus With Low Concentrations of Topical Tacrolimus: An Open Prospective Study

Chronic oral erosive lichen planus is a severe form of lichen planus of the bucchal, gingival, and glossal mucosae. Although numerous therapeutic modalities have been reported as useful, none has emerged as the gold standard of treatment. In this open prospective study, Olivier et al demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a topical 0.1 mg/100 mL tacrolimus suspension in treating this often painful disorder.

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Dermoscopic Examination of Nail Pigmentation

Early diagnosis of malignant melanoma offers the only possibility of curative treatment. This holds true for melanoma of the nail apparatus, yet diagnosis of melanoma at this site is complicated by the fact that biopsy of the nail matrix is often painful and creates a nail dystrophy due to surgical injury of the nail matrix. Ronger et al systematically assess the oil-immersion dermoscopic features of nail pigmentation, describing a technique that may allow differentiation between subungual melanoma and benign longitudinal melanonychia with high diagnostic accuracy.

Schematic representations of 2 of the dermoscopic patterns observed in longitudinal melanonychia: A, brown coloration of the background; B, micro–Hutchinson sign.

Schematic representations of 2 of the dermoscopic patterns observed in longitudinal melanonychia: A, brown coloration of the background; B, micro–Hutchinson sign.

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Viral Disease Transmitted by Laser-Generated Plume (Aerosol)

There has been an increasing awareness of the potential health risk of laser-generated plumes, including concerns regarding aerosolized carbonized materials, viable tumor cell dispersion, and transmission of infectious agents. Garden et al demonstrate that intact bovine papillomavirus may be recovered from the plume of carbon dioxide laser–treated lesions, and that virally induced tumors may be produced following inoculation with these laser plume materials. These findings suggest that stringent safety precautions during laser surgery should be strictly maintained.

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Use of an 800-nm Pulsed-Diode Laser in the Treatment of Recalcitrant Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp

Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp is an idiopathic follicular disorder characterized by firm, fluctuant nodules on the scalp with subsequent sinus tract formation and the potential for secondary infection and permanent scarring alopecia. Treatment of this chronic disorder is often frustrating. Boyd and Binhlam demonstrate the utility of laser-assisted epilation in this disorder and suggest that for those patients who do not respond to more conservative medical treatment, this modality represents an excellent therapeutic option.

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Awareness of the Risks of Tanning Lamps Does Not Influence Behavior Among College Students

Despite the well-publicized fact that the use of tanning lamps is associated with nonmelanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma, millions of Americans continue to artificially tan every year. In this survey at a large midwestern public university, Knight et al found young adult students to be exceptionally knowledgeable about the risks of UV light exposure and tanning bed use. However, almost half of those surveyed reported using tanning lamps despite this knowledge. Cosmetic appearance seems to be the principal motivating factor for artificial UV lamp use, suggesting that changing public opinion about the aesthetic appeal of tanning and the belief that tans are attractive and healthy may be a more effective deterrent to tanning bed use than traditional health educational tools.

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