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Treatment of Darier disease with oral alitretinoin


  • Conflict of interest: VL has received a travel grant from Basilea Pharmaceutica. TH has received travel grants from Basilea Pharmaceutica and Almirall. TR has acted as a principal investigator, speaker and consultant for Basilea Pharmaceutica. SM has acted as speaker, subinvestigator and consultant for, and received travel grants and author honoraria from Basilea Pharmaceutica, and has also received travel grants and acted as a speaker for Almirall.
  • The first two authors contributed equally to this paper.

Correspondence: Dr Sonja Molin, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Frauenlobstrasse 9-11, D- 80337 Munich, Germany



Darier disease (DD) is an autosomal dominant skin disease. Treatment is often difficult and unsatisfactory because of the chronic nature of the condition and the irritant potential of various therapeutic agents. Systemic vitamin A derivatives such as acitretin and isotretinoin are the treatment of choice, but their use is often limited by class-specific side-effects. Alitretinoin (9-cis-retinoic acid), has antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potential, and is licensed for the systemic treatment of chronic hand eczema in a number of countries. Unlike acitretin, alitrenoin requires contraception in women of childbearing age to be extended for only 1 month after the end of treatment. There is evidence that alitretinoin might be a well-tolerated alternative for the systemic treatment of various retinoid-responsive skin diseases. We present two cases of women with refractory DD successfully treated with alitretinoin without marked side-effects, who both obtained near-complete remission of their skin lesions.