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Necrobiosis lipoidica: early diagnosis and treatment with tacrolimus

Case Rep Dermatol. 2011 Apr 18;3(1):89-93. doi: 10.1159/000327936.

Patsatsi A, Kyriakou A, Sotiriadis D.


2nd Department of Dermatology, Aristotle University School of Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece.


We present a case of necrobiosis lipoidica (NL) with atypical early lesions and good response to topical tacrolimus. NL is a disease with clinical features that are seldom misinterpreted. Often histology just confirms the clinician’s diagnosis. Only in rare cases, the clinical presentation and the involved body sites may be misleading. A 67-year-old diabetic woman was admitted to our department with a well-defined, persistent plaque on her left arm and on her right shin. Histologic examination of both lesions revealed features of NL despite the dissimilar clinical presentation. The patient was treated with 0.1% topical tacrolimus ointment twice daily for 8 weeks and once daily for 8 weeks. A significant improvement and no further lesions were observed after 1 year of follow-up. A high index of suspicion regarding NL lesions with atypical clinical presentation on different body sites is advised in order to avoid misdiagnosis, wrong treatment decisions and ulceration. Additionally, it appears that topical tacrolimus treatment is an effective therapeutic option in patients with recent, non-ulcerated NL lesions.


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Mesa de redacción de Piel Latinoamericana. Donde recibimos casos, aportes e información de interés para la comunidad latinoamericana dermatólogica

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