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Alibert's disease I

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A skin disease occurring in five variants, generally marked by pinkish patches, lines, or bands, bordered by a purplish halo. As it develops, its colour changes to brown and the lesion may become hard and painful. Growths are often multiple, their size varying from that of a pinpoint to several centimetres in diameter. Trauma is the usual precipitating factor. It may be associated with migraine, arthralgia, abdominal pain, and generalized joint pain. Black people are particularly susceptible. It is prevalent in females (3: 1), with onset usually in 2nd to 4th decades. May appear during pregnancy. It is rare in infancy and old age, with maximum between puberty and age 30. Local pain, tenderness. Both autosomal recessive and dominant inheritance reported.

Alibert in 1816 gave the first accurate description of keloid, although it was mentioned by Noël Retz (1758-1810) in 1790. Thomas Addison described two forms of keloid, ”false keloid” described by Alibert, and the ”true keloid” which is the skin disease morphea, or ”Addison’s keloid”.


  • J. L. M. Alibert:
    Note sur la kéloide.
    Journal universel des sciences médicales, Paris, 1816, 2: 207-216.
  • C. H. Hawkins:
    On warty tumors in cicatrices.
    London Medical Gazette, 1833, 13: 481-482.
  • T. Addison:
    On the keloid of Alibert, and on true keloid.
    Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, London, 1854, 37: 27-47.
  • Charles Hilton Fagge (1838-1883):
    On keloid, sclerosis, morphoea and some allied affections.
    Guy’s Hospital Reports, London, 1868, 13: 255-328.

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