American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 75–96 | Cite as

An Update on Drug-Induced Pigmentation

  • Amanda F. Nahhas
  • Taylor L. Braunberger
  • Iltefat H. HamzaviEmail author
Review Article


Drug-induced pigmentation accounts for up to 20% of all cases of acquired pigmentation. A thorough review of medical history and previous and ongoing medications as well as a complete skin examination can guide diagnosis. Implicated agents include alkylating/cytotoxic agents, analgesics, antiarrhythmics, anticoagulants, antiepileptics, antimalarials, antimicrobials, antiretrovirals, metals, prostaglandin analogs, and psychotropic agents, among others. Confirming true drug associations can be challenging, especially in the setting of delayed onset of pigmentation and coexisting polypharmacy.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Hamzavi is an investigator for Incyte Corporation, Bayer, Estee Lauder, Unigen, Inc., Allergan, and Ferndale Laboratories, with grants received by the institution. Dr. Nahhas and Dr. Braunberger were former sub-investigators for Bayer, Estee Lauder, Unigen, Inc., Allergan, and Ferndale Laboratories, with grants received by their institutions.


No sources of funding were used to conduct this study or prepare this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda F. Nahhas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Taylor L. Braunberger
    • 2
  • Iltefat H. Hamzavi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyBeaumont-Farmington HillsFarmington HillsUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyHenry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA

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