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[3 min read] Research review: COVID vaccine-induced lichen planus on areas previously affected by vitiligo

An incredible amount of cutaneous reactions is being described following COVID vaccine, including common and uncommon ones. Among them, we recently saw and described an incredible case of a 64-year-old woman who developed, during summertime, a pruritic eruption of the hands five days after the first dose of COVID vaccine.

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The eruption faded away spontaneously, but then reappeared soon after the second dose, when the patient asked for dermatologic consultation. Dermoscopic showed the typical Wickham striae of lichen planus, that was just located on areas previously affected by vitiligo.

What’s the reason of this singular association?

Sun exposure may have elicited lichen planus, as previously reported in literature, but maybe the presence of a previous cutaneous disease (vitiligo) may have make that skin site prone to the development of another disease (lichen).

COVID vaccine was certainly the trigger of the reaction, as immune stimulator of cutaneous disease, as previously reported in other patients.

Let’s be aware and carefully collect all the reactions that may be secondary to COVID vaccine in order to be prepared to recognise and treat them.

vincenzo piccolo

– Dr Vincenzo Piccolo

Full paper:

Piccolo V, Mazzatenta C, Bassi A, Argenziano G, Cutrone M, Grimalt R, Russo T. COVID vaccine-induced lichen planus on areas previously affected by vitiligo. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Jan;36(1):e28-e30.


Watch Dr Vincenzo Piccolo’s recent video review on this topic.


Read more recent research from Dr Vincenzo Piccolo.

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