Background: Frictional melanosis of rubbing inner thighs is a common problem among Iraqi females causing great psychological and cosmetic impact. It might simulate lifa disease but it is a different entity. It is unfortunately not reported in the medical literatures although commonly encountered in daily clinical practice. Objective: To evaluate the hyperpigmentation of inner aspects of thighs in Iraqi females as an isolated pigmentary problem. Patient and Methods: Sixty patients with frictional melanosis of rubbing thighs were seen in Department of Dermatology, Baghdad Teaching Hospital in this case descriptive, clinical and histopathological study, during the period from April 2011 to March 2012. Any associated skin problems were also noticed like folliculitis and boils at area of friction. Forty individuals were enrolled in the present work as the healthy control group. The pigmentation was assessed by clinical, Wood’s light and histopathological examinations (H&E and Fontana stains). Body mass index was obtained for all patients and obesity was graded according to WHO recommendations. Results: The ages of patients ranged between 19 - 52 (32.86 ± 7.65) years, with 59 (98.3%) females and 1 (1.6%) male. By Wood’s light examination, accentuation in pigmentation was observed in 39 (58%) patients, while 21 (42%) of lesions showed no change. Body mass index was ranged from 23.3 - 43.6 (34.04 ± 4.13), history of vigorous rubbing of pigmented area with washing tool (lifa) was positive in 46 (76.6%) patients. Skin biopsies in 10 patients showed pure dermal melanophages in 3 of biopsies with slight melanosis of basal layer of epidermis, while the other 7 biopsies showed mainly increase in basal melanin. There was a statistically significant association between obesity and the severity of pigmentation of the inner thighs. Forty control individuals (2 males and 38 females) were assessed, their ages ranged from 19 - 50 (31.72 ± 6.40) years. All females were within normal weight while males were overweight and BMI was ranged from 19.7 - 28.2 (22.49 ± 1.84). All control individuals showed no pigmentation of inner aspects of thighs. Conclusion: Frictional melanosis of rubbing thighs is considered a new entity which had been not reported before in the medical literatures. This is a disease of mostly young obese females and the effective therapy is weight reduction and possibly liposuction.
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