oa South African Medical Journal - Some observations on the melanosis of Riehl

Volume 26, Issue 18
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Riehl's melanosis occurs among the Bantu in South Africa. The differential diagnosis of Riehl's melanosis in the Negro must include lichen planus, pellagra, mesodermal melanosis, dermatosis papulosa nigra and porphyria. The criteria for distinguishing various cells in the basal layer of the epidermis are not easily applied in Riehl's melanosis. Their individuality as cell types is open to doubt. Attention is drawn to the association of Riehl's melanosis with pains in the trunk and limbs, alterations in hair growth, attacks of muscular weakness and mental disturbance, where the better known causes for these symptoms can be excluded.

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