XERODERMA PIGMENTOSUM. FAIH OLUWATOSIN ILORI 1411 CASE 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS. DEFINITION. Causes. Symptoms. Exams and tests Treatment Refrences. DEFINITION.
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Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare condition passed down through families in which the skin and tissue covering the eye are extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light.
Xeroderma pigmentosum is an autosomal recessive disorder. This means you must have two copies of an abnormal gene in order for the disease or trait to develop.
Ultraviolet light, such as from sunlight, damages the genetic material (DNA) in skin cells. Normally, the body repairs this damage. But in persons with xeroderma pigmentosum, the body does not fix the damage. As a result, the skin gets very thin and patches of varying colour (splotchy pigmentation) appear.
The condition also causes spidery blood vessels in the skin (telangiectasia) and skin cancer. Skin cancer often occurs before the child is 5 years old.
Sunburn that does not heal after just a little bit of sun exposure
Blistering after just a little bit of sun exposure
Spider-like blood vessels under the skin
Patches of discoloured skin that get worse
Crusting of the skin
scaling of the skin
Oozing raw skin surface
Discomfort when being in bright light (photophobia).
Exam and tests.
The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask if you have a family history of xeroderma pigmentosum.
An eye exam may show:
Clouding of the cornea
The following tests can help diagnose the condition in a baby before the birth:
Chorionic villous sampling
Culture of amniotic cells
The following tests can help diagnose the disorder after the birth of the child:
Culture of skin fibroblasts.
Children with this condition need total protection from sunlight. Even the light coming through windows or from fluorescent bulbs is dangerous.
When these children go out in the sun, they need to wear protective clothing.
Use high protection (SPF 70 or greater) sunscreen and very dark, UV sunglasses. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help prevent certain precancerous growths from becoming skin cancers.