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Images in Dermatology
July 7, 2021

Minocycline-Induced Hyperpigmentation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Queen’s University, Department of Ophthalmology, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.2211

A man in his 70s with advanced glaucoma presented to the ophthalmology department for an evaluation of facial and ocular discoloration. On examination, his forehead, nose, and periocular, malar, and preauricular cheeks were noted to have bluish-gray pigmentation (Figure). No abnormalities of the teeth or buccal mucosa were noted. Biomicroscopic examination of the eyes revealed blue-gray hyperpigmentation of the sclera bilaterally. Five-millimeter punch biopsies were subsequently performed on the periocular and preauricular regions. Histopathological examination revealed basal keratinocyte hyperpigmentation and superficial dermal melanophages. There were no pigmented melanocytes or melanophages within the dermal collagen or reticular dermis. A review of his medications and supplements revealed an 8-year history of oral minocycline use (100 mg daily) for treating acne vulgaris. As such, a diagnosis of minocycline-induced hyperpigmentation was favored, and use of the medication was discontinued with subsequent improvement.

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