The biggest organ of the body is the skin. The skin is usually the first to reveal what is going on in the body. Since it is the outer covering of the body it is also susceptible to different types of injuries and allergies. Skin can be affected by various diseases due to environmental or genetic factors. In this article we will list several rare skin diseases.
Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB)
Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa is a very rare skin disease characterized by shedding of the skin and formation of blisters triggered by even minor reasons such as touching, rubbing or scraping. RDEB is caused by genetic abnormality and affects one in every million people. This disease occurs when body fails to create collagen, a type of protein that connects and supports the skin. Apart from the skin, RDEB also affects lining of the mouth, esophagus and intestinal tract.
Harlequin ichthyosis is an extremely rare genetic disorder caused by abnormality in ABCA12 gene. This severe disorder is features by thick, dry and scaly skin that sheds much faster than normal skin. In babies born with harlequin ichthyosis, the skin contains large, hard diamond-shaped scales that give the skin the appearance of the armor. The disease causes excessive loss of fluids and leads to death within a several days of birth.
Neutrophillic Dermatosis or Sweet’s Syndrome
Sweet’s syndrome is a skin disease caused by overreaction of the skin to allergy-causing agents. It is characterized by tender plaques, nodes and sometimes blisters on the skin of hands, legs, arms and neck. The symptoms of neutrophilic dermatosis develop in the presence of allergen. The disease is also accompanied by fever, pain and skin rash.
Morgellon’s disease is a rare and mysterious skin disease that causes itching, crawling, biting and stinging sensations on and under the skin. Black fibers coming out of the skin are another symptom reported by most of the patients. Neither the cause of morgellon’s disease nor its prevalence is known.
Argyria is a rare skin disorder caused by excessive intake of silver. Chronic consumption of silver causes the skin to become bluish-gray in color. The disease can not be cured but only prevented with restricted use of over the counter drugs containing silver.
Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP)
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a skin disease caused by genetic abnormality that affects DNA repair. In patients suffering from this disease, damage caused by ultraviolet light cannot be repaired resulting in severe sunburns, redness and itching of the skin from being exposed to the sun. It also dramatically increases the risk of skin cancer.
Urticaria is a type of skin rash that develops as an allergic response to stress, food, water or sunlight. This skin disorder is characterized by itchy welts or wheals and redness of the skin. There is acute and chronic urticaria but chronic form of the disease is not caused by an allergy but occurs due to the unknown cause.