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Keratosis follicularis

Darier-White disease (DAR), also known as keratosis follicularis, is an autosomal dominant skin disorder characterized by warty papules and plaques in seborrheic areas (central trunk, flexures, scalp, and forehead), palmoplantar pits, and distinctive nail abnormalities (Sakuntabhai et al., 1999). Onset is usually before the third decade, and penetrance is complete in adults, although expressivity is variable. Involvement may be severe, with widespread itchy malodorous crusted plaques, painful erosions, blistering, and mucosal lesions. Secondary infection is common. Sun, heat, and sweating exacerbate the symptoms. Darier disease never remits, but oral retinoids may reduce hyperkeratosis. Neuropsychiatric abnormalities, including mild mental retardation and epilepsy, have been described in association with Darier disease in a few families (Burge and Wilkinson, 1992); whether this is an association based on pleiotropism of the mutant gene or reflects coincidence is not clear. Histologic findings are (1) mild nonspecific perivascular infiltration in the dermis; (2) dermal villi protruding into the epidermis; (3) suprabasal detachment of the spinal layer leading to the formation of lacunae containing acantholytic cells; (4) in the more superficial epidermis, dyskeratotic round epidermal cells ('corps ronds'), the most distinctive feature; and (5) in the stratum corneum, 'grains' that resemble parakeratotic cells embedded in a hyperkeratotic horny layer. Electron microscopy reveals loss of desmosomal attachments, perinuclear aggregations of keratin filaments, and cytoplasmic vacuolization. Ultrastructural and immunologic studies suggest the disease results from an abnormality in the desmosome-keratin filament complex leading to a breakdown in cell adhesion. [from OMIM]

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Subungual hyperkeratotic fragments

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