Xeroderma pigmentosa is a rare condition passed down through families in which the skin and tissue covering the eye are extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Ultraviolet light — such as that found in sunlight — damages the genetic material (DNA) in skin cells. Normally, the body repairs this damage. But in persons with xeroderma pigmentosa, the body does not fix the damage. As a result, the skin gets very thin and patches of varying color (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.
Pictures & Images
Chromosomes and DN
Humans have 46 chromosomes. There are a total of 23 pairs of chromosomes or 46 total chromosomes. Chromosomes are made up of long strands of DNA which contain all the body�s genes.
Review Date : 5/7/2009
Reviewed By : Michael Lehrer, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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