What is Peeling Skin Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis

What is Peeling Skin Syndrome?

One of the rare genetic skin conditions, the peeling skin syndrome is generally characterised by painless, continual and spontaneous skin peeling since birth. Itching is the common discomfort caused by Peeling Skin Syndrome and the redness and formation of blisters on the skin is how this disease comes into action. The symptoms of Peeling Skin Syndrome are generally visible soon after the birth of the child, but they may appear later in life too. At times peeling skin syndrome is confined to the hands and feet only; and in such a case it is called the Acral Peeling Skin Syndrome.

What is Peeling Skin Syndrome?

What are the Causes of Peeling Skin Syndrome?

The main cause of peeling skin syndrome is a defective gene. It is when the child inherits the defective copy of the gene from both the parents that peeling skin syndrome surfaces. Any changes or mutations in the gene called TGM5 have also been identified to be the cause of peeling skin syndrome becoming apparent. It is not necessary that the parents also have peeling skin syndrome, but if the child has this disease, then the possibility is that the parents have been the carriers of this defective gene of peeling skin syndrome, which just got transferred to the baby.

What are the Symptoms of Peeling Skin Syndrome?

Since the peeling skin syndrome is quite typical in nature, the symptoms of peeling skin syndrome vary from person to person. Though some general symptoms of peeling skin syndrome have been listed below, there is quite a possibility that a patient does not have all the symptoms and/or has some other additional symptoms not mentioned in the list.

Peeling of the Skin: Peeling skin is the primary symptom of peeling skin syndrome.

Abnormal Blistering of the Skin: The most common symptom of peeling skin syndrome is the abnormal patches of redness and blistering of the skin. These blisters initiate the process of skin peeling and get intensified with time.

Dry Skin: The patients of peeling skin syndrome have reported to have extremely dry skin. This sort of skin tends to crack and even cause itchiness.

Aminoaciduria: Peeling skin syndrome leads to abnormally high amount of amino acids being found in the urine passed by the patient.

Itchiness: Peeling skin syndrome might not cause any pain, but it definitely does have the tendency to cause irritation and itchiness on the skin.

How is Peeling Skin Syndrome Diagnosed?

Peeling skin syndrome is a genetic condition, and therefore it is extremely hard to diagnose. Moreover, it is not necessary that the parents of the child have shown any signs of being the carriers to this defective gene, making it further more difficult to diagnose. To settle finally on the diagnosis of peeling skin syndrome, the doctors need to look at the parents’ and the patient’s complete medical history, symptoms, physical exam and laboratory tests to diagnose peeling skin syndrome.

What is the Treatment for Peeling Skin Syndrome?

Currently, there is no cure for peeling skin syndrome and the only treatment advised in such cases is to decrease the skin damage or to reduce and manage symptoms of peeling skin syndrome. Some treatment options for reducing the symptoms of peeling skin syndrome include:

Application of Topical Emollients: These are skin softening ointments that can help control the worsening situation of peeling skin syndrome. At times simple petroleum jelly has also shown improvement in symptoms of peeling skin syndrome.

Keratolytic Agents: These compounds can be used over the affected areas to help speed up the shedding and improve the appearance of the skin affected with peeling skin syndrome.

Bursting Blisters: In case of blistering, it is suggested that any new blisters be burst in their initial stage using a sterile needle to release the fluid within and then apply appropriate dressing. Dressings can be held in place using a cotton or tubular bandage.

Points To Be Kept In Mind

  • Peeling Skin Syndrome is made worse by hot humid temperatures and friction, therefore when dressing up the wounds, always use light materials and keep the dressing a little loose.
  • Peeling in this skin condition does not leave any scars, but in case of excess itching, try not to scratch the affected area, as it can lead to scarring.
  • Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes is preferred when suffering from peeling skin syndrome. Trainers and sandals for example keep the feet comfortable and help in preventing blisters. Removing shoes or changing clothes during the day also helps the affected area cool down and prevent blisters.
  • In case of sore fingers, soft finger grips can be applied to the pencils and the paint brushes to prevent aggravation of peeling skin syndrome.
  • To prevent infection in peeling skin syndrome, the use of the antibacterial soap and moisturisers is suggested.
  • The symptoms of peeling skin syndrome tend to worsen in summers; and therefore, more care should be taken during the hot and humid temperatures.

Organisations for Peeling Skin Syndrome

There are many organisations which help to come bring people and patients suffering from this rare disease that is peeling skin syndrome together. These organisations help maintain records of the symptoms of peeling skin syndrome and use the information for further research. Sharing information with others going through the same disease has also proven to be beneficial on several fronts. These organisations have medical experts too, which provide that best possible care and solutions to peeling skin syndrome.

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