Fox-Fordyce Disease

September 14, 2005
Eric J. Lewis, MD

,
Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD

After having been bothered by these lesions for the past 9 months, a 27-year-old woman described the eruption as "itchy bumps under my arms."

After having been bothered by these lesions for the past 9 months, a 27-year-old woman described the eruption as “itchy bumps under my arms.” The classic clinical resentation led Drs Charles E. Crutchfield III and Eric J. Lewis of Minneapolis to diagnose this as Fox-Fordyce disease, a stubborn pruritic papular dermatosis of the apocrine glands.

Also known as apocrine miliaria, this disorder affects women 10 times more often than men; black women account for the majority of cases. The disease results from the obstruction and subsequent rupture of the intraepidermal component of the apocrine glands, which is similar to true miliaria of the eccrine glands.

Current treatment options include tretinoin, topical clindamycin solution, and oral contraceptive agents. Difficult cases may require surgery.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  • Dover JS. Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: Self Assessment and Review. Philadelphia: WB Saunders company; 1996:230.
  • Orkin M, Maibach HI, Dahl MV. Dermatology. Norwalk, Conn: Appleton & Lange; 1991:342-343, 628.