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Keratosis follicularis (Darier's disease) is an autosomal dominant dermatological disorder characterised by abnormal epidermal differentiation and loss of normal cell-to-cell adhesion. Cardinal features include diffuse hyperkeratotic warty papules with scaly plaques in seborrhoeic regions with associated mucous membrane changes. Darier's disease is rare (prevalence 2.7 in 100,000), with few ocular sequelae reported: commonly dry eye with or without Sjögren's syndrome. This is the first report, to the best of our knowledge, to describe a case of recurrent herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis and episcleritis in a 47-year-old man suffering from Darier's disease. The patient's condition predisposed him towards developing ocular complications due to several factors: impaired desmosome function leading to poor cell-to-cell adhesion in the corneal epithelium, dry eye and HSV invasion of inflamed periocular skin presumably combining to allow viral colonisation of a poorly protected cornea.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Case Rep

Publication Date





Chronic Disease, Cornea, Darier Disease, Dry Eye Syndromes, Humans, Keratitis, Herpetic, Male, Middle Aged, Scleritis, Simplexvirus, Skin