Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Spongiotic, psoriasiform and pustular reaction patterns
Spongiotic dermatitis

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 15 October 2018, last major update August 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Spongiotic dermatitis

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Cite this page: Hamodat, M. Spongiotic dermatitis. website. Accessed January 19th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Clinically correlates with eczematous dermatitis
  • Encompasses a large number of diseases, including allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Intraepidermal edema with clear spaces separating keratinocytes
  • Acute: also perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates in upper dermis, lymphocyte exocytosis
  • Subacute: focal parakeratosis, acanthosis, papillomatosis, eosinophils
  • Chronic: prominent parakeratosis, acanthosis, papillomatosis; may have minimal spongiosis; fibroplasia of papillary and upper reticular dermis; variable inflammatory infiltrate
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Chronic, courtesy of Mark R. Wick, M.D.

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Spongiotic dermatitis

Differential diagnosis
  • Early cutaneous T cell lymphoma: large numbers of cerebriform nuclei, Pautrier’s microabscesses, epidermotropism