Pachydermodactyly is a rare, benign, acquired form of digital fibromatosis. The etiology of pachydermodactyly is unknown but is believed to be due to repeated mechanical injury of the skin. We report 2 cases identified in poultry processing workers and review other conditions associated with these cutaneous findings.
The 2 workers in this report were employed as a chicken catcher and a chicken hanger. On examination, both workers had marked lateral thickening of the digits, with associated pain and pruritus. The workers' skin condition developed despite the use of protective gloves, and their symptoms improved when removed from work. However, the swelling due to fibromatosis persisted.
Similar cutaneous findings have been reported in other occupations exposing individuals to repetitive skin trauma, and many patients demonstrating a compulsive habit of hand manipulation. This supports the conclusion that pachydermodactyly in these patients reflects repeated skin trauma. Repetitive mechanical injury in the poultry processing environment can result in considerable compensatory tissue changes. Preventive measures are needed to protect workers.