Changing a concept—controversy on the confusing spectrum of the reticulate pigmented disorders of the skin

Cornelia S L Müller, Claudia Pföhler, Wolfgang Tilgen
Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 2009, 36 (1): 44-8
Galli-Galli disease (GGD) and Dowling-Degos disease (DDD) are inherited skin diseases with variable progressive course. They are of benign and harmless behaviour but aesthetically annoying. They are subsumed within the group of reticulate pigmented disorders of the skin to which, additionally, Kitamura's and Haber's diseases are counted. Clinical appearance is approximately similar, with slight differences in age of onset and associated disorders. Histopathological features are almost similar aside from the unique hallmark of suprabasal acantholysis, which can exclusively be observed in GGD. We report four typical cases of reticulate pigmented disorders, clinically accordable to DDD but histopathologically allocated to GGD. In conclusion, we purpose the idea of a wide spectrum of reticulate pigmented disorders in which Morbus Galli-Galli should probably be reclassified as a subset of DDD.

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