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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 52, n° 6
pages 1091-1094 (juin 2005)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2005.01.125

Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans in a 15-year-old girl misdiagnosed as venous insufficiency for 6 years

Iris Zalaudek, MD, Bernd Leinweber, MD, Helmut Kerl, MD, Robert R. Müllegger, MD
From the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz 

Correspondence to: Professor Dr Robert R. Müllegger, Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 8, A–8036 Graz, Austria.

Graz, Austria


Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, the characteristic cutaneous manifestation of late Lyme borreliosis, typically occurs in elderly women. To our knowledge, only 4 cases of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans in children have been described. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent progression of disease and extracutaneous complications. We describe a 15-year-old girl with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans of the left leg that had been misdiagnosed as chronic venous insufficiency for 6 years. Because of the long-standing disease course, skin changes expanded and progressed to marked atrophy. The correct diagnosis was finally based on clinical, histopathologic, and serologic findings. The girl was treated with oral doxycycline for 6 weeks, but her skin changes did not fully normalize. This case illustrates the possibility of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans appearing in childhood and the difficulties in differentiating vascular disorders from acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans on the basis of the clinical appearance alone.

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