Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare genetic condition that causes the skin and eyes to become extremely sensitive to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. Symptoms usually begin in early childhood and affect a person for the rest of their life. While there is no cure, research is ongoing and experts are attempting to better understand the disorder.
Around half of people with xeroderma pigmentosum develop blistering burns on their skin after a short amount of sun exposure. Often, less than 10 minutes of exposure causes burns that take over a week to heal. Nearly every individual who has xeroderma pigmentosum experiences an onset of lentigos after sun exposure. This skin freckling is a sign of UV damage. For these people, frequent sun exposure can cause severely dry skin, patches of lighter skin color, thinning of the skin, and spider veins.
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