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Skin Genetics: What Your Family History Could Mean For Your Skin, Continued…

posted in Skin Care

The following skin disorders can be inherited:

  1. Darier-White disease: Also known as, keratosis follicularis. It is characterized by abnormal hardening of skin cells on the outer layer of the skin. The process, keratinization, is the same as well healthy skin cells are converted into fingernails, except with Darier-White disease, it happens in other places along the skin.
  2. Epidermolysis bullosa: A condition that causes the skin to blister at the slightest pressure or temperature change. This could occur anywhere on their body. In most cases it is inherited from the parents, but it can also be the result of a random mutation of genes that are responsible for expressing keratin. The keratin is what binds the skin layers together with strength and structure.
  3. Lamellar Ichthyosis: Characterized by the thick scales that result from skin layers building on top of each other. Normally, the older skin cells (stratum corneum) protect the younger skin cells (kerathinocytes). The old cells shed and the new ones take their place. However, in the case of Lamellar Ichthyosis, the two layers don’t separate or shed and it results in a build-up of hard, scaly plates of skin.  The condition is rare, but it is not uncommon for young children and babies to develop it.
  4. Cutaneou Porphyria: In this condition, an individual is unable to develop enzymes that create heme, which is a component of red blood cells that deliver oxygen. Heme is made up on porphyrins and they accumenulate when they are unable to convert into heme. The Skin becomes extremely photosensitive and the skin develops redness, painful irritation and blisters when exposed to sunlight for a short period. There are 8 different enzymes that can mutate and lead to this disorder.
  5. Mal de Maleda: This very rare type of genodermatoses is mainly found among those of Mediterranean descent and is a variation of Palmaris et plantari. It is characterized by the thickening of the skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, and usually turns into a yellowish hue.

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