Progressive Macular Hypomelanosis

  • Germaine Nathalie Relyveld
Part of the Updates in Clinical Dermatology book series (UCD)


Progressive macular hypomelanosis (PMH) is a skin disorder characterized by hypopigmented macules mostly on the trunk and sometimes on the extremities, buttocks, or face of young adults. It can be seen in patients of all skin types. Even though it has been described since 1985 by various authors from different countries around the world, it is still often misdiagnosed for other hypopigmented skin diseases such as pityriasis versicolor and pityriasis alba. The exact pathogenesis is still unknown; however electron microscopy studies show a shift in melanosome type between normal and lesional skin, and there seems to be accumulating evidence of a correlation between PMH and a genetically specific type III Propionibacterium acnes strain. A few treatment modalities have been proposed. Topical antimicrobial therapy combined with narrowband UVB seems to be the most promising treatment thus far. However, relapse may occur. The disorder presumably regresses spontaneously, since it has never been seen in the elderly.


Progressive macular hypomelanosis Hypopigmentation Macules Pigment disorder Propionibacterium acnes Clindamycin Benzoyl peroxide Narrowband UVB Melanosomes 16S rDNA analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antoni van Leeuwenhoek – Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Mauritskliniek AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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