Background: Pityriasis lichenoides (PL) occurs in all age groups, although predominantly in younger individuals. Objective: We sought to study the clinical features of PL in children followed up at our institution. Methods: The records of 124 children who were given the diagnosis of PL at our institution between 1993 and 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Results: PL chronica (PLC) was recorded in 37% of the cases, PL et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA) in 57.3%, and clinical features of both disorders were seen simultaneously in the remaining. The median age of onset was 60 months (range: 6-180 months), although the median age of onset of PLEVA (median: 60 months) was significantly younger than that of PLC (median: 72 months) (P = .03). The age distribution showed peaks at 2 to 3 years (24.8%) and 5 to 7 years (32%). A history of infection or drug intake preceded the skin manifestations in 30% and 11.2% of patients with PLC and PLEVA, respectively. The disease began most commonly during winter (35%) or fall (30%). The median duration was 20 months (range: 3-132 months) in patients with PLC and 18 months (range: 4-108 months) in patients with PLEVA. Involvement was diffuse in 74.2% of the patients, peripheral in 20.2%, and central in the remainder. The disease was recurrent in 77% of the patients (n = 80). Of the patients, 59% had pruritus, whereas 32% reported no symptoms; the remainder had fever, arthralgia, or both. Erythromycin estolate or ethylsuccinate was administered to 79.7% of the affected children; 66.6% of these showed at least a partial response. Limitations: The analyzed data were collected retrospectively and biopsies were not performed in all patients. Conclusions: PL is not an uncommon disease in childhood, with age peaks in the preschool and early school-age years. It is usually recurrent, and shows a seasonal variation with onset most often in the fall or winter. In childhood PL, erythromycin is an effective initial treatment choice.
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