Friction melanosis, friction amyloidosis, macular amyloidosis, towel melanosis: many names for the same clinical entity.

Unit of Dermatology, Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS), Via Conte Ruggero, 73, 94018 Troina, Italy.
European journal of dermatology: EJD (Impact Factor: 1.95). 11(6):545-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Macular or friction amyloidosis is a cutaneous entity characterized by a brownish pigmentation distributed on the skin over bony regions of the trunk and limbs after the use, for many years, of a nylon towel or scrub brush to clean the skin. Electron microscopy is necessary for the diagnosis of this dermatosis and reveals deposits of amyloid in the papillary dermis. This condition is relatively unknown in Western countries. In this report, we describe 24 Italian patients affected by friction amyloidosis which was caused by the use of cotton towels, horse-hair gloves or artificial and rough sponges to clean their skin.

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    ABSTRACT: Macular amyloidosis (MA) is the most subtle form of cutaneous amyloidosis, characterized by brownish macules in a rippled pattern, distributed predominantly over the trunk and extremities. MA has a high incidence in Asia, Middle East, and South America. Its etiology has yet to be fully elucidated though various risk factors such as sex, race, genetic predisposition, exposure to sunlight, atopy and friction and even auto-immunity have been implicated. This study attempts to evaluate the epidemiology and risk factors in the etiology of MA. Clinical history and risk factors of 50 patients with a clinical diagnosis of MA were evaluated. Skin biopsies of 26 randomly selected patients were studied for the deposition of amyloid. We observed a characteristic female preponderance (88%) with a female to male ratio of 7.3:1, with a mean age of onset of MA being earlier in females. Upper back was involved in 80% of patients and sun-exposed sites were involved in 64% cases. Incidence of MA was high in patients with skin phototype III. Role of friction was inconclusive Lack of clear-cut etiological factors makes it difficult to suggest a reasonable therapeutic modality. Histopathology is not specific and amyloid deposits can be demonstrated only in a small number of patients. For want of the requisite information on the natural course and definitive etiology, the disease MA remains an enigma and a source of concern for the suffering patients.
    Indian Journal of Dermatology 01/2012; 57(4):269-74.
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    Amyloidosis - An Insight to Disease of Systems and Novel Therapies, 11/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-795-6
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    ABSTRACT: The study was undertaken to answer the question that how many patients with pigmentation of back and arms actually have amyloid deposits in pathology. 44 patients presenting with diffuse pigmentation of back and arms (DPOBA) were selected. Skin biopsies were performed in all cases from the affected sites. On all formalin fixed and paraffin embedded specimens, the following histochemical stains were performed: Haematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Congo red and immunohistochemical staining using anti-cytokeratin monoclonal antibody. In 9 of 44 cases (20%), amyloid deposits were found. In the remaining 35 cases (80%), H&E, Congo red and immunohistochemical staining failed to show any amyloid deposition. We were unable to find amyloid deposition in most of the patients presented with DPOBA. It seems that the signs may be attributable other disorders with similar clinical but different pathophysiologic aspects.
    Acta medica Iranica 01/2013; 51(5):329-33.