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April 1969

Unique Pigment in Skin Window Macrophages: Associated With Recurrent Painful Ankle Ulcers: Atrophie Noir

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology (Drs. Shelley and Griffith) and the Department of Pathology, (Dr. Rawnsley), the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 1969;99(4):398-400. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610220026004

Numerous brownish-black pigment granules of an unknown nature are described for the first time in association with leg ulcers. These were observed in skin window studies done on the forearm of a patient with the remarkable history of recurrent ulcers of the ankles for the past 11 summers. Although the clinical and histologic findings were not distinctive, the recurrent nature of the ulceration coupled with the skin window pigment made this case unique. We propose the term "atrophie noir" to describe this condition. It stands in contrast with atrophie blanche in which no pigment is found in the lesion or in the skin window inflammatory exudate.

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