Background: Linear skin eruptions are commonly encountered in dermatology practice. They may be the manifestations of various skin diseases resembling each other, leading to difficulty in diagnosis and treatment. This study aimed to document linear dermatoses and analyze them demographically, clinically, and etiologically in order to facilitate diagnosis.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 100 patients presenting with linear skin eruptions to a tertiary care center’s dermatology outpatient/inpatient department over two years (2016 to 2018). These patients were evaluated and classified after clinico-etiological correlation into several subgroups of acquired and congenital linear skin eruptions.
Results: The major etiological group encountered was acquired dermatoses (79%), followed by nevoid/congenital dermatoses (21%). Among acquired dermatoses, the majority belonged to the papulosquamous group (33%), mostly lichen striatus cases (21%). The significant group were ≤ 40 years and ≤ 20 years in the acquired and papulosquamous groups, respectively (P = 0.001). In nevoid/congenital dermatoses, linear verrucous epidermal nevus was the predominant group (10%). We also attempted to find correlations with variables like gender, duration of symptoms, and distribution; however, there was no statistically significant correlation. Among other causes, 56% had the Blaschkoid distribution (P = 0.007).
Conclusion: This novel study attempted a comprehensive clinicoetiological compilation of linear skin eruptions by analyzing many variables and risk factors. It documents some uncommon dermatoses that occasionally present with linear configuration and need to be considered in the differential diagnoses.