Hailey-Hailey Disease (Pemphigus)

Hailey-Hailey disease (also known as benign familial chronic pemphigus) is a rare, inherited skin condition that starts in middle age and involves the armpits, groin and under the breasts. It is characterised by small blisters that break down into a red, moist or crusted sores with tiny cracks across them. The diagnosis is confirmed by a skin biopsy. Secondary fungal and bacterial infections are common.

Drying agents may be applied to affected areas, while small areas may be surgically excised. There is no cure, although it usually settles in old age.

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