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August 1975

Xerosis From Lithium Carbonate

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(8):1073-1074. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630200133029

To the Editor.—  Lithium carbonate is now well established as effective treatment for the manic phase of manic-depressive psychosis. A recent case in our clinic prompted a review of some of the cutaneous complications of the drug. In view of the increasing usage of this drug, it was felt that our findings would be of interest to dermatologists.

Report of a Case.—  A 45-year-old woman with a depressive illness was seen in consultation because of generalized dry skin. Medication consisted of 300 mg of lithium carbonate given by mouth three times a day for the two years prior to consultation.There was no previous history of skin disease. Dryness of skin had become progressively worse over the six months since midsummer. Examination showed generalized dry skin with large, polygonal, adherent scales especially on the extremities. Erythematous plaques with crenolated, superficial scaling were noted over lower parts of both extremities. Lateral

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