Xeroderma Pigmentosum is an inherited condition that causes extreme sensitivity to UV light from the Sun. The condition is known as the ‘vampire’ syndrome because the symptoms cause people affected to avoid sunlight and have bloodshot eyes.
Signs and symptoms:
- severe sunburn after just a few minutes in the Sun
- redness and blistering of the face
- freckles in sun-exposed areas of the body
- dry skin (xeroderma)
- changes in skin colouring (pigmentation)
- cornea of eye may become cloudy
- neurological abnormalities
- irritated, bloodshot eyes
Who does it affect?
- 1 in a million people
- normally children
- more common in Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Other names of the condition:
- DeSanctis-Cacchione syndrome
Consequences of the condition:
- greatly increased risk of developing skin cancer
- greatly increased risk of developing lung cancer
- increased neurological problems that tend to worsen with time
- greatly increased risk of developing eye cancer / eye problems (“eyelashes fall out and the eyelids may be thin and turn abnormally inward or outward”)
- greatly increased risk of developing cancer of the scalp, in the eyes, and on the tip of the tongue
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