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Pachydermodactyly – Just a sign of emotional distress

European Journal of Dermatology. Volume 19, Number 1, 5-13, January-February 2009, Review article

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Author(s) : Helmut Beltraminelli, Peter Itin

Summary : 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.

Keywords : obsessive compulsive behaviour (OCB), Pachydermodactyly (PDD), psychosomatics


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