North Texas Research Forum 2024



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North Texas


Medical City Fort Worth



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folliculitis, drug-induced folliculitis, topical drugs, plaque psoriasis


Dermatology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Introduction: Tapinarof 1% cream is a novel non-steroidal topical medication recently FDA-approved for plaque psoriasis. Tapinarof’s non-steroidal mechanism allow for longer treatment periods without topical corticosteroid side effects e.g. skin atrophy, hypopigmentation, telangiectasias, and striae. Adverse events identified during pivotal trials may not be completely defined before widespread clinical use. This case reports a new presentation of folliculitis with tapinarof use. Case Presentation: A 25-year-old female with trisomy-21 presented for a rash on her left lower leg. The eruption began one year earlier. The eruption was not associated with pruritus, joint pain or nail changes. A clinical diagnosis of plaque psoriasis was made. Due to unsuccessful response with topical steroids and topical vitamin D analogues, alternative treatment was started with topical tapinarof. After approximately two months of treatment, the patient presented with a new concern of an itchy rash. On exam she had follicular papules around the original plaque. In addition, she had follicular papules and pustules following a linear distribution ascending the affected leg. These papules were distant from the original eruption. There were similar scattered papules on the unaffected leg. A clinical diagnosis of folliculitis was made. Bacterial and fungal cultures were negative. A biopsy demonstrated folliculitis and special stains did not show organisms. Learning Points: Tapinarof cream is a novel non-steroidal treatment option for plaque psoriasis. Tapinarof is considered by many to have a better safety profile when compared to topical steroids. Adverse events reported in tapinarof clinical trials included folliculitis at or near the site of psoriatic plaque. This case is unique as the folliculitis occurred not just at the site of application, but also occurred distant to the site. The distribution has not been previously reported. Our case provides histological confirmation of folliculitis as a side effect. Additionally, our case demonstrates that this adverse event may occur in areas outside of the intended treatment area. This unusual distribution of folliculitis may be due to external factors such as transfer of the medication by bed sheets or clothing. An alternative theory may be scratching of the plaque then subsequent spread to the areas where folliculitis is now evident. Further experience with tapinarof will more completely define tapinarof associated folliculitis. In the meantime, clinicians treating patients with tapinarof who develop folliculitis need to consider this possibility in their differential diagnosis.

Original Publisher

HCA Healthcare Graduate Medical Education

An Unusual Presentation of Tapinarof-Induced Folliculitis



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