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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Dowling-Degos disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Dowling-Degos Kitamura disease
  • Kitamura reticulate acropigmentation
  • Reticular pigment anomaly of flexures
  • Reticulate acropigmentation of Kitamura
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Your Question

Can Dowling-Degos disease be cured?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is there a medicine that can cure Dowling-Degos disease?

There is no cure for Dowling-Degos disease.[1][2][3] Many different treatments have been tried for this condition, but none has proven effective in eliminating the symptoms for all patients. Topical retinoic acids, topical steroids, hydroquinone, tretinoin, and systemic retinoids have been used without success.[1] Limited reports indicate at least temporary therapeutic benefit with topical adapalene. Various laser systems (CO2 and erbiumYAG) have also shown some promise.[2][3]   

Additional articles that address this topic can be accessed below:

Wenzel G, Petrow W, Tappe K, Gerdsen R, Uerlich WP, Bieber T. Treatment of Dowling-Degos disease with Er:YAG-laser: results after 2.5 years. Dermatol Surg. 2003 Nov;29(11):1161-2.

Wenzel J, Tappe K, Gerdsen R, Uerlich M, Philipp-Dormston W, Bieber T, Petrow W. Successful treatment of Dowling-Degos disease with Er:YAG laser. Dermatol Surg. 2002 Aug;28(8):748-50.

Altomare G, Capella GL, Fracchiolla C, Frigerio E. Effectiveness of topical adapalene in Dowling-Degos disease. Dermatology. 1999;198(2):176-7. 

Last updated: 2/4/2013