2.8 Atrophy




Loss or reduction of individual structures. affecting epidermis, dermis and/or  subcutaneous tissue.

Color: white, blue, pale yellow.

Underlying vessels often seen.

In sclerosis, often a smooth, white, tight epidermis.


Depends on etiology.


Terminal condition following a variety of processes.

Atrophic scars.

Mucosal atrophy (hormone deficiency, iron deficiency).

Sclerosis, congenital defects.

Comment / Explanation

Atrophoderma; rarely congenital atrophy of skin (i.e. aplasia cutis congenitalis).

Poikiloderma: atrophy, hyper- and depigmentation, telangiectasias.

Typical Dermatoses

Age-related atrophy (dermatoporosis).

Atrophic scars.

Sclerosis: scleroderma, lichen sclerosus, lupus.

Poikiloderma: radiation dermatitis.

Systemic and topical corticosteroids.


Intrinsic and extrinsic cutaneous aging.

Striae distensae (stretch marks of pregnancy).

Post-traumatic atrophy.

Post-inflammatory atrophy.

Cachexia in patients with terminal illnesses.

Infectious (Borreliosis).

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