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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