Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Chronic skin condition typically affecting the lower limbs
*Also known as chronic superficial scaly dermatitis
*Cause is unknown
*Consists of red, scaled patches of skin, which are oval or round in shape and may be pink, yellow, or brown in color

Parapsoriasis is a chronic skin condition which typically affects the lower limbs, but may also appear on the arms or torso. The condition consists of red, scaled patches of skin, which are oval or round in shape and may be pink, yellow, or brown in color. It may also appear in fingerlike shapes, usually on the abdomen. Lesions are usually small, but larger lesions may form in some cases. Affected areas may appear wrinkled and thin. The condition may also be accompanied by itching.

The cause of parapsoriasis is unknown. The condition tends to worsen in cold weather, and even when the condition is resolved it may recur in the same location when treatment is ceased. Typically, the condition will progress to a certain point and stabilize, and affected persons will experience mild changes in the condition throughout their lifetime. Rarely, parapsoriasis may resolve permanently.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Contact Dermatitis, Allergic
Pityriasis lichenoides
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Pityriasis rosea
Nummular Dermatitis
Psoriasis, Guttate
Pityriasis alba

Key Points
*Initial diagnosis based on appearance of the affected area
*Skin biopsy will be performed to confirm diagnosis and to rule out similar appearing conditions
*In cases with joint pain, health care professionals may order x-rays

Parapsoriasis is initially diagnosed based on the appearance of the affected area, at which time a biopsy will be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Additionally, biopsy will rule out similar appearing conditions, including cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, as the two appear quite similar.

*Some persons may not require treatment, as the condition is typically benign
*The conditions is not always responsive to treatment
*Emollients should be used to treat scaling and dry skin
*Other treatments such as topical steroids and phototherapy may be recommended
OTC Options: Emollients

Parapsoriasis does not always require treatment, as the condition is benign, and even when treatment is prescribed, the condition may not respond. Therapies which may help to resolve the condition and symptoms to some degree include the use of emollients to treat scaling, dry skin, topical steroids to treat severe itching, and phototherapy to clear lesions. Lesions resolved by phototherapy may recur.

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