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Disease at a Glance

Summary
Darier disease is a skin condition characterized by wart-like blemishes on the body. The blemishes are usually yellowish in color, hard to the touch, mildly greasy, and can emit a strong odor. The most common sites for blemishes are the scalp, forehead, upper arms, chest, back, knees, elbows, and behind the ear. The mucous membranes can also be affected, with blemishes on the roof of the mouth (palate), tongue, inside of the cheek, gums, and throat. Other features of Darier disease include nail abnormalities, such as red and white streaks in the nails with an irregular texture, and small pits in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The wart-like blemishes characteristic of Darier disease usually appear in late childhood to early adulthood. The severity of the disease varies over time; affected people experience flare-ups alternating with periods when they have fewer blemishes. The appearance of the blemishes is influenced by environmental factors. Most people with Darier disease will develop more blemishes during the summertime when they are exposed to heat and humidity. UV light; minor injury or friction, such as rubbing or scratching; and ingestion of certain medications can also cause an increase in blemishes. On occasion, people with Darier disease may have neurological disorders such as mild intellectual disability, epilepsy, and depression. Learning and behavior difficulties have also been reported in people with Darier disease. A form of Darier disease known as the linear or segmental form is characterized by blemishes on localized areas of the skin. The blemishes are not as widespread as they are in typical Darier disease. Some people with the linear form of this condition have the nail abnormalities that are seen in people with classic Darier disease, but these abnormalities occur only on one side of the body. This disease summary is from MedlinePlus Genetics, an online health information resource from the National Institutes of Health.
Summary
Darier disease is a skin condition characterized by wart-like blemishes on the body. The blemishes are usually yellowish in color, hard to the touch, mildly greasy, and can emit a strong odor. The most common sites for blemishes are the scalp, forehead, upper arms, chest, back, knees, elbows, and behind the ear. The mucous membranes can also be affected, with blemishes on the roof of the mouth (palate), tongue, inside of the cheek, gums, and throat. Other features of Darier disease include nail abnormalities, such as red and white streaks in the nails with an irregular texture, and small pits in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The wart-like blemishes characteristic of Darier disease usually appear in late childhood to early adulthood. The severity of the disease varies over time; affected people experience flare-ups alternating with periods when they have fewer blemishes. The appearance of the blemishes is influenced by environmental factors. Most people with Darier disease will develop more blemishes during the summertime when they are exposed to heat and humidity. UV light; minor injury or friction, such as rubbing or scratching; and ingestion of certain medications can also cause an increase in blemishes. On occasion, people with Darier disease may have neurological disorders such as mild intellectual disability, epilepsy, and depression. Learning and behavior difficulties have also been reported in people with Darier disease. A form of Darier disease known as the linear or segmental form is characterized by blemishes on localized areas of the skin. The blemishes are not as widespread as they are in typical Darier disease. Some people with the linear form of this condition have the nail abnormalities that are seen in people with classic Darier disease, but these abnormalities occur only on one side of the body. This disease summary is from MedlinePlus Genetics, an online health information resource from the National Institutes of Health.
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Resource(s) for Medical Professionals and Scientists on This Disease:

About Darier disease

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently, GARD aims to provide the following information for this disease:

  • Population Estimate:Fewer than 50,000 people in the U.S. have thisdisease.
  • Symptoms:May start to appear from Childhood to Adulthood.
  • Cause:This disease is caused by a change in the genetic material (DNA).
  • Organizations:Patient organizations are available to help find a specialist, or advocacy and support for this specific disease.
  • Categories:Genetic DiseasesSkin Diseases
When Do Symptoms of Darier disease Begin?
Symptoms of this disease may start to appear from Childhood to Adulthood.

The age symptoms may begin to appear differs between diseases. Symptoms may begin in a single age range, or during several age ranges. The symptoms of some diseases may begin at any age. Knowing when symptoms may have appeared can help medical providers find the correct diagnosis.
Prenatal
Before Birth
Newborn
Birth-4 weeks
Infant
1-23 months
Child Selected
2-11 years
Adolescent Selected
12-18 years
Adult Selected
19-65 years
Older Adult
65+ years
Symptoms may start to appear from Childhood to Adulthood.

Symptoms

The types of symptoms experienced, and their intensity, may vary among people with this disease. Your experience may be different from others. Consult your health care team for more information.

The following describes the symptom(s) associated with this disease along with the corresponding body system(s), description, synonyms, and frequency (Note: Not all possible symptoms may be listed):
Skin System Skin System

13 Symptoms

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Skin System

The skin or integumentary system is made up of skin, hair, nails, sweat glands, and oil glands. Common symptoms of problems in the skin system include redness, swelling, burning, itching, rashes, and hives. Skin diseases are often diagnosed and treated by dermatologists. Other specialists may also be involved including rheumatologists, allergists, and infectious disease doctors.

Causes

Genetic Mutations

Genetic mutations may be inherited, they may occur randomly as cells divide, or they may result from other factors such as contracted viruses or exposure to harmful environmental elements.
Can This Disease Be Passed Down From Parent to Child?

Autosomal Dominant

Autosomal dominant is an inheritance pattern of some genetic diseases. A child only needs to inherit a copy of the mutated gene from one biological parent to be affected.

Find Your Community

How Can Patient Organizations Help?

Patient organizations can help patients and families connect. They build public awareness of the disease and are a driving force behind research to improve patients' lives. They may offer online and in-person resources to help people live well with their disease. Many collaborate with medical experts and researchers.

Services of patient organizations differ, but may include:

  • Ways to connect to others and share personal stories
  • Easy-to-read information
  • Up-to-date treatment and research information
  • Patient registries
  • Lists of specialists or specialty centers
  • Financial aid and travel resources

Please note: GARD provides organizations for informational purposes only and not as an endorsement of their services. Please contact an organization directly if you have questions about the information or resources it provides.

View GARD's criteria for including patient organizations, which can be found under the FAQs on our About page. Request an update or to have your organization added to GARD

Patient Organizations

7 Organizations

Organization Name

Who They Serve

Helpful Links

Country

People With

Darier disease

Country

United States

People With

Darier disease

Helpful Links
Country

United Kingdom

People With

Skin Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

Participating in Clinical Studies

Clinical studies are part of clinical research and play an important role in medical advances, including for rare diseases. Through clinical studies, researchers may ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human diseases.

What Are Clinical Studies?

  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about clinical trials from this U.S. Food & Drug Administration webpage.

Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

Join the All of Us Research Program!

What Are Clinical Studies?

Clinical studies are medical research involving people as participants. There are two main types of clinical studies:
  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about clinical trials from this U.S. Food & Drug Administration webpage.
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Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

People participate in clinical trials for many reasons. People with a disease may participate to receive the newest possible treatment and additional care from clinical study staff as well as to help others living with the same or similar disease. Healthy volunteers may participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward.

To find the right clinical study we recommend you consult your doctors, other trusted medical professionals, and patient organizations. Additionally, you can use ClinicalTrials.gov to search for clinical studies by disease, terms, or location.
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What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

Join the All of Us Research Program!

ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Contact a GARD Information Specialist if you need help finding more information on this rare disease or available clinical studies. Please note that GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies. 
Available toll-free Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm Eastern Time
(Except: Federal Holidays)
Use the contact form to send your questions to a GARD Information Specialist.

Please allow 2 to 10 business days for us to respond.
ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Contact a GARD Information Specialist if you need help finding more information on this rare disease or available clinical studies. Please note that GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies. 
Available toll-free Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm Eastern Time
(Except: Federal Holidays)
Use the contact form to send your questions to a GARD Information Specialist.

Please allow 2 to 10 business days for us to respond.
Getting a Diagnosis

Take steps toward getting a diagnosis by working with your doctor, finding the right specialists, and coordinating medical care.

Last Updated: February 2024