Granular parakeratosis: a case report and literature review

Christopher A Wallace, Rita O Pichardo, Gil Yosipovitch, John Hancox, Omar P Sangueza
Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 2003, 30 (5): 332-5

BACKGROUND: Granular parakeratosis is suspected to result from an error in epidermal differentiation, leading to variably pruritic, hyperpigmented-to-erythematous patches and plaques. Characteristic histopathologic features include a thickened stratum corneum, compact parakeratosis with retention of keratohyalin granules, vascular proliferation, and ectasia. The pathogenesis of this entity is uncertain.

METHODS: We present a case of axillary granular parakeratosis and review the literature.

RESULTS: The lesion showed a thickened stratum corneum with compact parakeratosis, slight epidermal hyperplasia, and a sparse perivascular lymphohistiocytic infiltrate. Keratohyalin granules were diffusely present within the parakeratotic stratum corneum, and the retained granular layer showed focal vacuolization.

CONCLUSIONS: Granular parakeratosis is a rare form of parakeratosis most often seen in the axilla, although other intertriginous areas may be affected. Unique histopathologic findings allow for a specific diagnosis to be made. Although an irritant contact reaction appears causative, mechanical irritation may also play a role in inducing these skin changes.

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