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Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis

Author
Amy Y-Y Chen, MD, FAAD
Section Editor
Jeffrey Callen, MD, FACP, FAAD
Deputy Editor
Abena O Ofori, MD

INTRODUCTION

Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis (CARP) is an uncommon dermatosis characterized by hyperpigmented scaly macules or papillomatous papules coalescing into confluent patches or plaques centrally with a reticular pattern peripherally (picture 1A-D). It most commonly occurs on the trunk. Oral antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment.

The clinical features, diagnosis, and management of CARP will be reviewed here. Other causes of cutaneous hyperpigmentation are reviewed separately. (See "Approach to the patient with hyperpigmentation disorders".)

EPIDEMIOLOGY

First described by two French dermatologists, Gougerot and Carteaud, CARP has been reported worldwide and occurs in all racial groups and ethnicities [1]. It is estimated that the incidence of CARP in the Lebanese population is around 0.02 percent [2]. No epidemiologic study has been conducted in the United States. However, only 39 patients were identified in a retrospective review collected from 1972 to 2003 at the Mayo Clinic [3].

CARP typically affects young adults; the Mayo Clinic retrospective study found a mean age of onset of 15 years and a range of 8 to 32 years. While some studies report a slight female predominance with a female-to-male ratio of 1.4:1, others do not demonstrate sex predilection [3].

ETIOLOGY

Decades after its initial description, the pathogenesis and etiology of CARP remain elusive and controversial. Several theories have been proposed, although none have been definitively proven.

               

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Dec 11 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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