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Rare Skin Diseases

Skin is an organ on the exterior, hence, is most prone to allergies and injuries. Also, genetic predisposition is often responsible for skin diseases.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Skin is the largest organ in our body. It is also the first to reflect abnormal changes in the body. Whenever, there is something wrong with your body, the first noticeable signs of that problem appear on it. Therefore, it is also called 'mirror of the body.' Skin is a very delicate organ and its exterior location, makes it prone to various kinds of injuries and allergies. Certain skin diseases are also associated with the genetic composition of the individual.
Rare Skin Diseases
Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB)
This is one of the rare skin disorders, which affects one in every million people. The disease is caused due to the body's inability to produce a protein called collagen, which is responsible for building the skin together. As a result, the skin sheds and blisters appear, even due to trivial reasons such as scraping, rubbing, touching etc. Other organs affected due to this disorder include, lining of the mouth, esophagus and intestinal tract.
Harlequin Ichthyosis
This is an extremely rare skin disease, caused due to a defect in ABCA12 gene. This disease is present at the birth itself. It is characterized by dry, scaly skin, which sheds 7 to 10 times faster than normal skin. The body is covered with fish like scales, which also have a hair growth on them. The scales are extremely hard and give the skin an armor like appearance. It is one of the rare skin disorders in children, which kills them within a few days of birth.
Sweets Syndrome or Neutrophilic Dermatosis
This condition is a result of hypersensitive response of the skin to allergens. The skin tends to develop plaques all over the body, in presence of the allergen. Fever and pain are the accompanying factors, along with skin rash.
Morgellons Disease
This is yet another rare skin disease with an unknown cause. The condition is characterized by itching, crawling, biting sensation, underneath the skin. People suffering from this disorder often report black fibers erupting out of the skin. The cause and prevalence of this disorder are yet to be discovered.
Argyria is a cosmetic skin disorder which occurs due to excessive consumption of silver. The silver gives bluish gray appearance to the skin. There is no treatment to reverse the ill effects of silver consumption. Hence, the only option is to avoid the occurrence of the disease. This can be done by limiting the amount of over the counter drugs with silver content.
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a genetic disorder caused due to alteration of genes, responsible for normal DNA repair. As a result, the damage due to UV rays of the sunlight cannot be repaired. This leads to redness and itching of the skin, after sun exposure.
Urticaria is an allergic response to sunlight, food, stress, water etc. It is a wheel and flare reaction, where the skin becomes extremely itchy and red. Acute urticaria is one of the rare skin diseases in children, which affects 4.5 to 15% children.
The list of rare skin diseases is very long and most of them are a manifestation of allergies or disturbances in genetic composition. Rare skin disorders due to defective genetic composition cannot be treated, but those due to allergies can be treated and controlled.