Familial benign chronic pemphigus, also known as Hailey-Hailey disease, is an uncommon autosomal dominant genetic condition. A mutation in the calcium ATPase (ATP2C1) gene on chromosome 3q21 interferes with calcium signaling and results in a loss of keratinocyte adhesion. Generally, the onset of the condition is in the second or third decade. There are two clinical subtypes of the disease: segmental type 1 and segmental type 2.
Histology reveals groups of acantholytic cells that resemble a “dilapidated brick wall.” Direct immunofluorescence is negative, unlike pemphigus vulgaris.
As hyperhidrosis is a known aggravating factor, injection with botulinum toxin (this is off-label use not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration) in affected areas to decrease sweating has been reported to be effective.
This case and photo were submitted by Dr. Bilu Martin.
Dr. Bilu Martin is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice at Premier Dermatology, MD, in Aventura, Fla. More diagnostic cases are available at edermatologynews.com. To submit a case for possible publication, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.