Familial benign chronic pemphigus has long resisted the efforts of clinicians and pathologists alike to learn more regarding its precise nature. Unrecognized until a short time ago, it has attracted an uncommonly large number of names, as well as theories regarding its causation. The most recent students of this disease agree that it is an independent entity in which localized areas of epidermis show an inborn abnormal fragility.1,2 Such epidermis is unable to withstand frictional forces as rubbing, scratching, adhesive tape, shoulder straps, or even tightly fitting collars.
It is our feeling that a second major pathogenic factor is bacterial infection. Although bacteria were demonstrated in some of the earliest cases of familial benign chronic pemphigus described twenty years ago,3 it has never been the sense of the literature that familial benign chronic pemphigus is a pyoderma. In our opinion, however, a reexamination of the published
SHELLEY WB, PILLSBURY DM. Specific Systemic Antibiotic Therapy in Familial Benign Chronic Pemphigus. AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(5):554–556. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560230040007
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