Indian Journal of Dermatology
: 2017  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 100--101

Perforating lichen planus in an adolescent boy: A rare phenomenon

Arghyaprasun Ghosh1, Deblina Bhunia2, Olympia Rudra1, Megha Agarwal1,  
1 Department of Dermatology, R. G. Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College and LSK Hospital, Kishanganj, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Deblina Bhunia
Department of Dermatology, Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College and LSK Hospital, Kishanganj, Bihar

How to cite this article:
Ghosh A, Bhunia D, Rudra O, Agarwal M. Perforating lichen planus in an adolescent boy: A rare phenomenon.Indian J Dermatol 2017;62:100-101

How to cite this URL:
Ghosh A, Bhunia D, Rudra O, Agarwal M. Perforating lichen planus in an adolescent boy: A rare phenomenon. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Feb 25 ];62:100-101
Available from:

Full Text


Lichen planus (LP) is a common autoimmune disorder with variable presentation. Perforating LP is a rare variant of this disease with features of both LP and transepidermal elimination in histopathology.[1],[2] A very few cases of perforating LP have been reported till date in the literature.

A 14-year-old Indian boy presented with gradually progressive pruritic lesions over both lower legs for 6 months. On examination, we found multiple, hyperpigmented, keratotic papules and plaques over the anterior, posterior, and lateral sides of distal parts of both lower extremities [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. The mucosae, nail, hair, and systemic examinations were noncontributory. There was no history of any drug intake before the eruption. The patient also had no history of jaundice in the past. A provisional diagnosis of lichenoid dermatosis was considered. A 4-mm punch biopsy was performed including the keratotic central part of a lesion. On histopathological examination, we found hyperkeratosis, focal hypergranulosis, irregular acanthosis, basal cell degeneration, Civatte bodies, and dense band-like lymphocytic infiltrate mixed with histiocytes in the upper dermis with features of transepidermal elimination [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. The wide perforating channel was filled with dense lymphohistiocytic infiltrate [Figure 3]a and [Figure 3]b. On the basis of these clinical and histopathological findings, the diagnosis of perforating LP was made.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

LP is an immune-mediated disorder classically presenting as faintly erythematous to violaceous, polygonal, flat-topped papules usually distributed symmetrically and bilaterally over the extremities. Many variations in the clinical presentations according to the morphology, configuration, or distribution have also been described.[1]

The classical epidermal changes of LP include hyperkeratosis, wedge-shaped hypergranulosis, and irregular elongation of rete ridges in sawtooth pattern. There is basal cell damage, and multiple apoptotic cells (colloid-hyaline bodies or Civatte bodies) are seen in the dermoepidermal junction. Eosinophilic colloid bodies are found in the papillary dermis.[1],[2] There is a band-like dense lymphocytic infiltrate mixed with histiocytes in the papillary dermis.[2]

Perforating LP is a rare variant of LP which clinically presents as keratotic papules and plaques. On histopathology, there is transepidermal elimination with other features of LP.[1],[2]

There are very few cases of perforating LP reported in the literature. Hanau and Sengel [3] reported a case in a 52-year-old woman in 1984. Histopathology of that case showed typical features of LP with an area of perforation of epidermis with a rectilinear channel containing hyaline bodies, inflammatory cells, melanophages, and fibrillar material.[3]

Gutte and Khopkar [4] described a case of perforating LP in a 38-year-old man with histological features of LP and perforation of epidermis along with acrosyringeal accentuation of infiltrate. The perforating channel was made up of a parakeratotic plug, and also abundant colloid bodies were seen below the invagination of epidermis by a parakeratotic plug.[4],[5] In our case, there was no feature of parakeratosis or acrosyringeal accentuation.

We prescribed oral acitretin in a dose of 25 mg/day to our patient. After 6 weeks, the lesions started regressing, but he was lost to follow-up.

Presentation of perforating LP in an adolescent boy with distinct histopathological features made our case a rare one. This case emphasizes the role of histopathological examination in any atypical presentation of LP for its proper diagnosis and management.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Daoud MS, Pittelkow MR. Lichen planus. In: Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ, Wolff K, editors. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. p. 296-312.
2Weedon D. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 3rd ed. London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010.
3Hanau D, Sengel D. Perforating lichen planus. J Cutan Pathol 1984;11:176-8.
4Gutte R, Khopkar U. Perforating lichen planus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2011;77:515-7.
5Gutte R, Khopkar U. Predominant palmoplantar lichen planus: A diagnostic challenge. Indian J Dermatol 2014;59:343-7.