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Oppenheim-Urbach disease

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A rare skin disease usually observed in diabetic patients (75 percent) and prevalent i females. At onset, the lesions are multiple red or yellowish papules ranging from 1 to 3 mm in diameter, which develop into round or oval sclerodermalike plaques with a cellophanlike surface. The plaques are reddish with yellow depressed centres. The lower limbs are most commonly affected, but the trunk, palms, soles, and forearms also become involved. Ulceration of the lesion is common. Histologically, there is replacement of collagen fibres by neutral fat. The collagen fibres are pale, and elastic fibres are absent in zones of necrobiosis. Onset at all ages. Occur in two varieties. Liver and spleen may be enlarged in both forms.

The term necrobiosis lipoidica applies only to cases uncomplicated by diabetes.


  • M. Oppenheim:
    Eigentümliche disseminierte Degeneration des Bindegewebe bei einem Diabetiker.
    Zentralblatt für Haut- und Geschlechtskrankheiten, Berlin, 1929, 32: 179. Eine noch nicht beschriebene Hauterkrankung bei Diabetess mellitus (Dermatitis atrophicans lipoides diabetica).
    Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 1932, 45: 314-315.
  • E. Urbach:
    Beiträge zu einer physiologischen und pathologischen Chemie der Haut. X. Eine neue diabetische Stoffwechseldermatose. Nekrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum.
    Archiv für Dermatologie und Syphilis, Berlin, 1932, 166: 273. Other authors give this title:
    Multiple degenerative Gewebsschädigungen der Haut mit extrazellulären Lipoideinlagerungen bei einem Fall von schwerem Diabetes.
    Archiv für Dermatologie und Syphilis, Berlin, 1932, 166: 273.

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