Confluent and Reticulated Papillomatosis Treatment & Management

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis is strictly a disorder of the skin that results in cosmetic disfigurement, with no adverse systemic effects; therefore, no treatment is necessary other than for eradication of the rash (see Medication).

Many different modalities have been used in the treatment of confluent and reticulated papillomatosis, with variable results. The most consistent results may be seen with minocycline. [39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44] Oral doxycycline is another option. [45] Other modalities include keratolytics; intramuscular, oral, and topical forms of vitamin A; sodium thiosulphate; ammoniated mercury; oral contraceptives; oral and topical retinoids [18, 46, 47, 48, 49] ; thyroid extract; ultraviolet light; propylene glycol; antibiotics [43, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57] ; antimycotics; and calcipotriene. [58, 59, 60, 61]

The most consistently effective treatment for confluent and reticulated papillomatosis, and the only one evaluated by retrospective and prospective studies, has been oral antibiotics. Successful treatment of confluent and reticulated papillomatosis has been reported with topical mupirocin. [62] Another therapeutic option in confluent and reticulated papillomatosis may be tazarotene gel. [63] The treatment was well tolerated and may be an alternative to systemic retinoid therapy.

A good part of the hyperpigmentation can be removed using 70% alcohol swabbing. [35]

Surgical treatment of confluent and reticulated papillomatosis has been unsuccessful.

The lesions of confluent and reticulated papillomatosis may regress with weight reduction.