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European Journal of Dermatology

Pachydermodactyly – Just a sign of emotional distress Volume 19, issue 1, January-February 2009

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  • Author(s): Helmut Beltraminelli, Peter Itin , Dermatology Department, University Hospital of Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland
  • Key words: obsessive compulsive behaviour (OCB), Pachydermodactyly (PDD), psychosomatics
  • Page(s) : 5-13
  • DOI : 10.1684/ejd.2008.0543
  • Published in: 2009

Pachydermodactyly (PDD) is a benign, asymptomatic soft tissue swelling affecting the skin of the lateral aspects of the proximal interphalangeal joints of the fingers II-IV, mostly in young adolescent males, and could be interpreted as a consequence of tic-like behaviour as an obsessive-compulsive disorder in male adolescents. The differential diagnosis includes numerous diseases; a rapid clinical recognition of PDD would avoid many useless and expensive diagnostic tests. There is no effective medical treatment for PDD, but discontinuation of the tic-like mechanical traumatisation generally leads to a marked amelioration of the finger swelling. In this article we review the world literature, which contains 87 additional cases on this topic.