There is no specific treatment for Hailey-Hailey disease and management generally focuses on the specific symptoms and severity in each person.

People with Hailey-Hailey disease are encouraged to avoid “triggers” such as sunburn, sweating, and friction, and to keep the affected areas dry. Sunscreen, loose clothing, moisturizing creams, and avoiding excessive heat may help prevent outbreaks. Trying to prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the affected areas is also important, and drugs used to treat or prevent these infections are commonly used.

Topical medications (such as mild corticosteroid creams and topical antibiotics) may improve symptoms in milder forms. Cool compresses and dressings may also help. More severe cases may require systemic antibiotics (especially erythromycin and tetracycline) and/or stronger corticosteroid creams. Topical tacrolimus ointment can be used to control the disease, even without the use of topical corticosteroids.

When the disease does not improve with these treatments and it is widespread, additional treatment options may include:

Botulinum toxin, CO2 ablation laser, and dermabrasion are the most studied and have shown to be effective treatments. Some reports show that low-dose botulinum toxin type A injections should be given first in hard-to-treat cases because it is well-tolerated, effective, and has few or mild negative side effects.

Find a Specialist If you need medical advice, you can look for doctors or other healthcare professionals who have experience with this disease. You may find these specialists through advocacy organizations, clinical trials, or articles published in medical journals. You may also want to contact a university or tertiary medical center in your area, because these centers tend to see more complex cases and have the latest technology and treatments.

If you can’t find a specialist in your local area, try contacting national or international specialists. They may be able to refer you to someone they know through conferences or research efforts. Some specialists may be willing to consult with you or your local doctors over the phone or by email if you can’t travel to them for care.

Healthcare Resources

To find a medical professional who specializes in genetics, you can ask your doctor for a referral or you can search for one yourself.