By Gary M. White, MD

Dowling-Degos disease (DDD), also known as "reticulate pigmented anomaly of the flexures," is a rare, reticulated pigmentary disorder usually caused by mutations in keratin 5.


Reticulated hyperpigmented macules occur in the axillary, inguinal, and inframammary areas. Rarely, the wrists, face, scalp, scrotum, and vulva may be affected. Comedone-like lesions, pruritus, and pitted perioral scars are common features [JAAD 1999;40;462]. Patients often come in complaining of the comedones.


Topical adapalene gel BID was quite helpful in one case [Dermatology 1999;198;176]. Topical tretinoin, hydroquinone, topical steroids, and systemic retinoids have been tried but are usually ineffective.


A Case of Dowling-Degos Disease on the Vulva. Ann Dermatol. 2011 May;23(2):205-208


Homepage | FAQs | Use of Images | Contact Dr. White

It is not the intention of to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. only intends to provide users with information regarding various medical conditions for educational purposes and will not provide specific medical advice. Information on is not intended as a substitute for seeking medical treatment and you should always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and for answers to your individual questions. Information contained on should never cause you to disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment. If you live in the United States and believe you are having a medical emergency call 911 immediately.