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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 80  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 255

Localized bullous pemphigoid occurring on surgical scars: An instance of immunocompromised district

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Second University of Naples, Napoli, Italy

Date of Web Publication12-May-2014

Correspondence Address:
Vincenzo Piccolo
c/o II Policlinico, Edificio 9, Primo piano, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Napoli
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.132256

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How to cite this article:
Baroni A, Piccolo V, Russo T, Chessa MA. Localized bullous pemphigoid occurring on surgical scars: An instance of immunocompromised district. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2014;80:255

How to cite this URL:
Baroni A, Piccolo V, Russo T, Chessa MA. Localized bullous pemphigoid occurring on surgical scars: An instance of immunocompromised district. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Aug 9];80:255. Available from:

We read with great interest the case reported by Sen et al., [1] on localized bullous pemphigoid occurring on surgical scars. Bullous pemphigoid may be triggered by trauma and surgical operations, [1] but in this case, the time that had elapsed between the trauma of surgery and the development of blisters on the surgical scars was 15 years. We agree with the authors that this long period of time makes Koebnerization unlikely as the explanation.

In our opinion, this is a perfect example of Ruocco's novel concept of the immunocompromised district. Immunocompromised district can be defined as a regional destabilization of the neuro-immunocutaneous system, where the first disease causes an immunological alteration that predisposes to the development of secondary diseases, different from the first one, occurring after an extremely variable lapse of time, and typically confined to the same area. Numerous and varied immunity-related opportunistic diseases (infections, tumors and immune reactions) can take place within immunocompromised districts. [2] The term "immunocompromised" generically indicates an alteration of the immune response, and not necessarily a reduction of it. Cases of bullous pemphigoid confined to the hemiplegic side [3] and on an accidentally traumatized limb or on an amputation stump, [2] may represent other examples of this phenomenon.

Immunocompromised district is usually induced by chronic lymphedema, vaccination, herpetic infections, neurological disorders [4] and physical injuries. Surgical procedures or accidental trauma, as well as the scars resulting from them, [5] impair both lymph circulation and neuro-immune cross talk in the traumatized area, damaging and immunologically marking these cutaneous areas. In these vulnerable sites, the secondary disease, in this case bullous pemphigoid, could appear after a variable period ranging from days to decades.

  References Top

1.Sen BB, Ekiz Ö, Rifaioglu EN, Sen T, Atik E, Dogramaci AÇ. Localized bullous pemphigoid occurring on surgical scars. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2013;79:554.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.Ruocco V, Brunetti G, Puca RV, Ruocco E. The immunocompromised district: A unifying concept for lymphoedematous, herpes-infected and otherwise damaged sites. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2009;23:1364-73.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Piccolo V, Russo T, Baroni A. Unilateral bullous pemphigoid in hemiplegic patients: An instance of immunocompromised district. J Dermatol 2013;40:64-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Baroni A, Piccolo V, Russo T, Ruocco V. Recurrent blistering of the fingertips as a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome: An effect of nerve compression. Arch Dermatol 2012;148:545-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Baroni A, Brunetti G, Ruocco E. Coexistence of malignancy (skin cancer) and immune disorder (discoid lupus erythematosus) on a burn scar: A concrete example of 'immunocompromised district'. Br J Dermatol 2011;164:673-5.  Back to cited text no. 5

This article has been cited by
1 Ruoccoĉs immunocompromised cutaneous district
Vincenzo Piccolo,Adone Baroni,Teresa Russo,Robert A. Schwartz
International Journal of Dermatology. 2016; 55(2): 135
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