Just for fun:  40 year-old white male was noted to have this unusual pattern on his back.  Any ideas?  This is for medical residents, dermatology residents, or just interested parties…Choices are:

  1.  Reticulated pigmented anomaly (Dowlin-Degos)
  2.  Reticulate pigmentation of Dohi (Dyschromatosis symmetrica)
  3.  Reticulate acropigmentation of Kitamura
  4.  Dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis
  5.  Self Tanner



Answer:  Patterns are important in dermatology, and there can be some very interesting ones.  However, recurrent, highly regular patterns are usually artificial.  Reticular is defined as a fine lacelike or netlike pattern, which can be observed in a number of disorders, but it usually does not have the degree of precision seen in this patient.  This is a basket weave pattern.  In further discussion the patient noted he used a spray tanner.  He regularly went to get a spray tan at a salon, and had a habit of laying on a towel while it set.  The towel absorbed the spray tan resulting in variation to the degree of epidermal staining, producing a regular, imprinted basket weave pattern.  Isn’t dermatology fun?

Self or spray tanners are highly encouraged by dermatologist, because they are safer than tanning.  The tanner oxidizes the outer portions of the stratified epidermis, producing the brown color.  They have perfected these agents tremendously, they used to produce more of an orange color.  Because the tanners only treat the very outer portions of the skin, unlike true tanning that results in increased pigmentation throughout the epidermis, the coloration does not last as long as a true tan.

To learn more about how to use self tanners and avoid uneven results, such as the one shown here, click on this LINK.

Avoid doing these 11 things just prior to getting a spray tan…LINK.