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July 1965

Ultraviolet-Induced Acantholysis in Pemphigus

Author Affiliations


From the Section of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation (Dr. Winkelmann); Fellow in Dermatology, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, University of Minnesota (Capt Cram).

Arch Dermatol. 1965;92(1):7-13. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600130013002

Ultraviolet irradiation produced an acantholytic phenomenon in normal skin of seven patients with pemphigus foliaceus. In six of the seven patients, this reaction was manifested by a positive Nikolsky sign and was confirmed by biopsy in four. Friction alone, infrared irradiation, occlusive dressing, and a rubefacient failed to produce a similar reaction. The thermal burn in the skin of patients having pemphigus was of subepidermal type. Ultraviolet-induced acantholysis was inhibited by chloroquine phosphate, taken orally, in the two patients tested. Prednisone had no such effect. It is concluded that ultraviolet light is a major aggravating stimulus for pemphigus foliaceus.