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Taraneh Paravar, MD
Section Editor
Jeffrey Callen, MD, FACP, FAAD
Deputy Editor
Abena O Ofori, MD


Anetoderma, also known as macular atrophy, is an uncommon disorder of elastic tissue that is clinically characterized by wrinkled and atrophic depressions or saccular outpouchings of the skin (picture 1A-C). The saccular outpouchings may herniate upon digital pressure. The primary histologic finding is the loss of elastic tissue in the dermis.

Anetoderma is divided into primary anetoderma and secondary anetoderma, with the former occurring in areas of previously normal skin and the latter developing in areas of prior skin pathology. Primary anetoderma may occur in association with underlying systemic conditions and warrants evaluation for associated disorders. There is no effective treatment for anetoderma.

The clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of anetoderma will be reviewed here. Anetoderma is distinct from atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini, a disorder characterized by dermal atrophy and well-defined, hyperpigmented, depressed areas of skin. Atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini is reviewed separately. (See "Atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini".)


Anetoderma is considered uncommon; however epidemiologic data are limited. The exact prevalence is not known.

Primary anetoderma tends to present between ages 20 to 40 but may occur at both younger and older ages. There seems to be a female predominance in primary anetoderma.

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 29, 2016.
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