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Dermatology Online Journal

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Red crusty plaques in a young man


Pemphigus foliaceus is a superficial blistering disorder characterized by erosions and scaling in a seborrheic distribution. The condition typically occurs in healthy individuals but issues arise from delayed diagnosis. Many cases remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to the lack of awareness of the condition. With use of common diagnostic tools, pemphigus foliaceus can be easily identified and monitored. Histological analysis exhibits "chicken wire" patterning along keratinocytes in the upper epidermis, whereas immunofluorescence study displays subcorneal acantholysis. Pemphigus foliaceus is confirmed via ELISA studies revealing the presence of autoantibodies against desmoglein 1. Once correctly diagnosed, typically the condition is responsive to corticosteroid therapy. However in recalcitrant cases such as in ours, adjunctive immunosuppressive therapy with dapsone or rituximab may be indicated.

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