John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Friction melanosis, friction amyloidosis, macular amyloidosis, towel melanosis: many names for the same clinical entity Volume 11, issue 6, November - December 2001


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Unit of Dermatology, Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS), Via Conte Ruggero, 73, 94018 Troina, Italy.

Macular or friction amyloidosis is a cutaneous entity characterized by a brownish pigmentation distributed on the skin over bony regions of the trunk and limbs after the use, for many years, of a nylon towel or scrub brush to clean the skin. Electron microscopy is necessary for the diagnosis of this dermatosis and reveals deposits of amyloid in the papillary dermis. This condition is relatively unknown in Western countries. In this report, we describe 24 Italian patients affected by friction amyloidosis which was caused by the use of cotton towels, horse-hair gloves or artificial and rough sponges to clean their skin.