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Dermatology. 1996;192(4):373-4.

A case of diet-related pemphigus.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, 2nd University of Naples, Italy.


An experimental investigation has lately shown that certain allyl compounds of garlic are able to provoke acantholysis in normal human skin cultured in vitro. The acantholytic effect has been more prominent in the samples from DR4+ donor. We here report a case of superficial pemphigus which appeared spontaneously in a DR4,14+, 49-year-old man and which ran a course that proved to be affected by dietary factors, in particular by the consumption of garlic. In the absence of a conventional treatment and on a garlic-free diet only, the disease ceased for several months. Soon after an unintentional dietary test with a strongly and presumable garlic-spiced fish meal, the pemphigus recurred. Nutritional factors should be added to the ever-growing list of exogenous factors capable of inducing or perpetuating pemphigus in genetically predisposed individuals.

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