Juvenile pityriasis rubra pilaris: Report of 28 cases in Taiwan

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Pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP) is a papulosquamous dermatosis uncommon in juveniles. Large-scale studies are limited, especially from Asian countries.


We sought to analyze the clinical manifestations of juvenile PRP in Taiwanese patients and compare them with reported series in the literature.


The diagnosis of juvenile PRP was made based on clinical–histopathologic correlation. The therapeutic response and disease course were followed up by re-examination of the patients or by telephone.


A total of 47 patients were identified, with histopathologic confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of juvenile PRP in 28 cases. A preponderance of Griffiths' type IV PRP (85.7%) rather than type III PRP (14.3%) was found. Palmoplantar hyperkeratosis appeared to be a cardinal feature. In patients with type IV PRP, skin lesions in areas other than the elbows/knees and palms/soles were common. Treatment with systemic acitretin in 6 patients failed to effect a dose- or time-dependent improvement. In contrast with other studies, two thirds of our patients with type III and IV juvenile PRP had a protracted course lasting more than 3 years.


This study was a retrospective review. Patient compliance with treatment was frequently poor.


Type IV juvenile PRP predominated but our cases showed a wider distribution of skin lesions than is typically described. When children present with an acute onset of diffuse palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, a diagnosis of juvenile PRP should be considered. Because of the divergent clinical manifestations of juvenile PRP in different populations, there is a need to modify and re-evaluate classification systems based on regional differences.

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