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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta

Other Names for this Disease
  • Mucha-Habermann disease
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Your Question

My 13 year old son was recently diagnosed with pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA). Our local physicians do not know much about this condition and have not been very helpful in providing us with treatments. How is this condition treated? Where can I learn about the most current treatments? Are there doctors or researchers who specialize in this condition? 

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA) be treated?

Many treatments have been reported for PLEVA, although their effectiveness varies among people with this condition. Depending on the severity of PLEVA, treatment may include increased sun exposure, topical steroids, topical immunomodulators (such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus), oral antibiotics (such as erythromycin or tetracycline), phototherapy, systemic steroidsmethotrexate, acitretin, dapsone, ciclosporin, or etanercept. PLEVA may not always respond to treatment and relapses often occur when treatment is discontinued.[1][2]
Last updated: 5/2/2012

Where can I learn about the most current treatments for pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta?  

You can find relevant articles on the treatment of PLEVA through PubMed, a searchable database of biomedical journal articles. Although not all of the articles are available for free online, most articles listed in PubMed have a summary available. To obtain the full article, contact a medical/university library or your local library for interlibrary loan. You can also order articles online through the publisher’s Web site. Using "Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta [ti] AND treatment" as your search term should help you locate articles. Use the advanced search feature to narrow your search results. Click here to view a search.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web site has a page for locating libraries in your area that can provide direct access to these journals (print or online). The Web page also describes how you can get these articles through interlibrary loan and Loansome Doc (an NLM document-ordering service). You can access this page at the following link You can also contact the NLM toll-free at 888-346-3656 to locate libraries in your area.

Last updated: 5/2/2012

Are there doctors or researchers who specialize in pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta?

While we are not able to provide referrals to specific physicians, the American Academy of Dermatology has an online tool that can help you find your nearest dermatologist. Click on the link above to access this tool.
Last updated: 5/2/2012

  • Pityriasis lichenoides. New Zealand Dermatological Society Web site. 2011; Accessed 1/3/2012.
  • Nikkels AF, Gillard P, Piérard GE. Etanercept in therapy multiresistant overlapping pityriasis lichenoides. J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Oct;7(10):990-2. .