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Dermatitis Artefacta Workup

  • Author: John YM Koo, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Jan 06, 2016

Approach Considerations

No specific laboratory blood tests are required to establish a diagnosis of dermatitis artefacta, nor are any diagnostic imaging studies indicated. In addition, no other general tests are required. The only test that is particularly useful in this setting is a s kin biopsy.

A skin biopsy of a representative dermatitis artefacta lesion may be performed to rule out any underlying pathology and, in some cases, to establish a definite diagnosis. The histologic findings in dermatitis artefacta are usually nonspecific and are often dependent on the mechanism of injury (eg, foreign body reaction with giant cells and noninfectious material for self-injection).

Contributor Information and Disclosures

John YM Koo, MD Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; Director, UCSF Psoriasis Treatment Center

John YM Koo, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Psychiatric Association, National Psoriasis Foundation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Patricia T Ting, MD, MSc, FRCPC, LMCC(Canada) Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Canada

Patricia T Ting, MD, MSc, FRCPC, LMCC(Canada) is a member of the following medical societies: Alberta Medical Association, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Canadian Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Dermatology Association

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Galderma; Janssen Inc.<br/>Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Galderma; Janssen Inc.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


David F Butler, MD Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Chair, Department of Dermatology, Director, Dermatology Residency Training Program, Scott and White Clinic, Northside Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Association of Military Dermatologists, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Edward F Chan, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Edward F Chan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, and Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jacek C Szepietowski, MD, PhD Professor, Vice-Head, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University; Director of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Disclosure: Stiefel GSK Company Salary Employment; Orfagen Consulting fee Consulting; Maruho Consulting fee Consulting; Astellas Consulting fee Consulting; Abbott Consulting fee Consulting; Leo Pharma Consulting fee Consulting

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