Drug Eruptions in Dermatology

Firas Al-Niaimi


Expert Rev Dermatol. 2011;6(3):273-286. 

In This Article

Acneiform Eruptions

This pattern of eruption represents a small percentage of drug-induced skin eruptions. Clinically it presents as a papulo-pustular inflammatory eruption on the face and upper trunk resembling acne vulgaris; however, there are few clues that can aid in differentiating both entities.[70] Drug-induced acne should be considered if

  • The onset is sudden

  • There is worsening of existing acne

  • Comedones are absent

  • Monomorphic appearance of the papules and pustules

  • There is an exposure to a potentially responsible drug

Few drugs can cause acneiform eruptions (Table 1); historically, corticosteroids have been a common cause. However, the new EGF receptor (EGFR) antagonists used in cancer treatment, such as erlotinib, are associated with an acneiform eruption that carries a good prognostic factor for the treatment of the underlying condition as evidence of effect on another organ that expresses EGFR.[71] Withdrawal of the culprit drug and treatment with tetracycline or erythromycin antibiotics is often all that is needed in terms of treatment.


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