Pseudoatrophoderma Colli

Updated: Jun 01, 2022
  • Author: Anna Choczaj-Kukula, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Practice Essentials

Pseudoatrophoderma colli is an unusual persistent dermatosis characterized by the presence of pigmented macules and plaques with a wrinkled atrophic appearance, involving the neck and the upper part of the trunk. [1]

Becker and Muir [2]  reported the first case of pseudoatrophoderma colli in 1934. Since then, only single cases of this condition have been described; however, pseudoatrophoderma colli is likely more common than has been reported. [3, 4]


Pseudoatrophoderma colli is a benign disease with no associated mortality or morbidity. The disease tends to spread gradually with partial regression and intervals, persisting for years or decades. Spontaneous clearing was reported in 1 patient.


Laboratory test results are within the reference range.

Also see Histologic Findings.


Variable responses to diverse options including ultraviolet light, vitamin A, lactic acid, and minocycline have been described. [5]  In the past, therapy for pseudoatrophoderma colli included the use of a quartz lamp, keratolytics, topical corticosteroids, superficial radiation, and oral vitamin A. Spontaneous clearing was reported in 1 patient. Kauh et al treated a patient with 5% lactic acid in hydrophilic ointment, with relief of itching and scaliness and a decrease in pigmentation. [6]



The nature of the disease remains uncertain. Some authors suggest that vitamin A deficiency may be a contributing factor to the cause of this condition. In the past, pseudoatrophoderma colli was considered a subvariety or a transitional form of confluent and reticulate papillomatosis of Gougerot and Carteaud, [7, 8, 5] or a variant of parapsoriasis. Reports of familial cases of pseudoatrophoderma colli support the theory that it is an autosomal dominant dermatosis and a single disease entity. [9, 6]



The cause of the condition is unknown.

Vitamin A deficiency has been believed to be a possible factor contributing to the cause of pseudoatrophoderma colli.

Some authors previously regarded it as a form of parapsoriasis or an epidermal nevus.

Pseudoatrophoderma colli was also considered a variant of papillomatosis of Gougerot and Carteaud.



Pseudoatrophoderma colli is rare, with only 10-20 cases reported. No clear racial predilection is described.

All patients described in the literature, except one, [10] are females. The reported cases of pseudoatrophoderma colli are in patients aged 14-45 years.