Inflammatory Disorders Affecting the Epidermis of the Vulva

  • Russell A. Ball
  • Libby Edwards
  • Jason C. Reutter
  • Kelly L. West
  • Maria Angelica SelimEmail author


Inflammatory dermatoses involving the epidermis are a prevalent cause of biopsy of the vulva. Herein, we describe the most common pathologic processes involving the vulvar epidermis including the spongiotic pattern (allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, amicrobial pustulosis of the folds), cytotoxic or vacuolar interface pattern (fixed drug eruption, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, graft-versus-host disease, lupus erythematosus), and acanthotic pattern (lichen simplex chronicus, psoriasis and Reiter’s syndrome). The salient histologic features, differential diagnoses and the challenges encountered by the reviewing pathologist will be emphasized.


Contact dermatitis Psoriasis Reiter’s Lupus erythematosus Drug eruption Lichen simplex chronicus Erythema multiforme Toxic epidermal necrolysis 



Allergic contact dermatitis


Amicrobial pustulosis of the folds


Discoid lupus erythematous


Erythema multiforme


Graft-versus-host disease


Herpes simplex virus


Irritant contact dermatitis


Lupus erythematous


Lichen simplex chronicus


Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia


Stevens-Johnson syndrome


Systemic lupus erythematous


Toxic epidermal necrolysis


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell A. Ball
    • 1
  • Libby Edwards
    • 2
  • Jason C. Reutter
    • 3
  • Kelly L. West
    • 1
  • Maria Angelica Selim
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Ball DermpathGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineCarolinas Medical CenterCharlotteUSA
  3. 3.Department of DermatopathologyPiedmont Pathology AssociatesHickoryUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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