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May 1963

Tape Test for Acquired Hyperkeratosis of Skin with Pigmentation: With Special Reference to Patients with Cancer

Author Affiliations


Departments of Medicine, Welborn Clinic and Welborn Memorial Baptist Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):634-640. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290100013

Pigmentation of the skin associated with neoplastic diseases is seen in intestinal polyposis, carcinoid, melanoma, some lymphomas, and acanthosis nigricans of the so-called malignant type. Of these disorders, only the latter is characterized by cutaneous hyperkeratosis. This brief report describes three patients with an acquired hyperkeratosis of the skin with pigmentation, that differs somewhat from typical acanthosis nigricans, but which is probably closely related to it pathogenically. In each case, the skin lesion was associated with a cancer. An interesting and consistent clinical feature was the ease with which the pigment was stripped from the skin by firm application and immediate removal of adhesive tape.* Local reduction of pigment was produced. The feature served as a simple bedside test to aid in identification of the disorder.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A Caucasian male, age 41, complained of weight loss, pigmentation of the skin, and weakness of eight months' duration.