Xeroderma – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Xeroderma – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this disease that many are unaware of. In addition, Xeroderma is a manifestation that causes intense itching, especially in the legs, and can progress to excoriations and skin inflammation . The main cause of Xeroderma is the lack of skin hydration . As the elderly and children have less natural lubrication in the area, they suffer more. Normal skin is kept moist by an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands – sebum – Composed of fats, sebum lubricates the skin , keeping it soft.

People who suffer from Xeroderma do not have these glands, and therefore they need to take some special care with their skin in order to keep it hydrated and therefore avoid itching.

Causes of Xeroderma: The main cause of Xeroderma seems to be genetic and generates inadequate skin moisture , caused by the malfunction of the glands that manufacture sebum and that normally keep it lubricated and soft. Normal skin is kept moist by an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands – sebum – composed of fats, sebum lubricates the skin , keeping it soft, but this does not occur in skin with Xeroderma .

At the beginning of Xeroderma , the skin may be just wrinkled, but as the disease progresses, it also starts to show a notable scaling.

Symptoms of Xeroderma: At the beginning of Xeroderma , the skin may appear only wrinkled, but as the disease progresses, it also starts to present a remarkable scaling. The main signs and symptoms of established Xeroderma are severely or moderately dry skin , itching sensation and/or intense stinging, which can be localized or generalized, with greater incidence in the legs and arms.

These areas can progress to excoriations and skin hyperpigmentation if scratched repeatedly. The  skin as a whole may look rough and cracks may develop that can become infected.

Most observed symptoms of Xeroderma:

  • Short time in the sun can cause burns and the wound lasts for weeks.
  • Presence of black pigment in the skin .
  • Premature aging in areas exposed to the sun.
  •  excessively dry skin .
  • 15%~20% of patients have nervous system degeneration.
  • Blindness due to eye injuries or eye surgery.
  • Hearing loss (related to degeneration of the nervous system).

Xeroderma treatments: There is no effective treatment, and sun protection is recommended, through the use of light-colored clothing and systematic application of sunscreens, with a high protection index (SPF ³50), avoiding exposure to solar radiation , especially in the mountains. and on the beach. Eye injuries can be prevented or corrected through the use of artificial tears or corneal transplants.

These patients should be periodically examined by a dermatologist, in order to carry out early screening for any malignant or pre-malignant lesions. Malignant lesions should be promptly surgically excised and premalignant treated by electrocoagulation, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, or topical application of 5-fluorouracil.

As a prophylactic approach, the oral administration of retinoids – acitretin – continuously or intermittently, as well as b-carotene, has been used, with favorable results. Given the type of heredity, consanguineous marriages between relatives of patients with xeroderma pigmentosa are not recommended.

Useful links: 

How to prevent Xeroderma? 

  • Drink plenty of water. Internal hydration is very important!
  • Do not take very hot baths. The water should only be lukewarm and the shower should be quick. And when it is necessary to take more than one bath a day, soap should not be used in the
  • second bath.
  • Moisturize the skin with suitable creams and oils, with the skin still damp, after bathing.
  • Do not use sponges and avoid talc and/or perfumes.
  • Prefer loose, cotton clothes.
  • Use neutral and glycerin soaps.
  • Use room humidifier at home.

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