The peeling skin syndrome.
A unique form of congenital ichthyosis in two unrelated patients is described and characterized histologically by separation of the epidermis between the stratum corneum and the stratum granulosum. The clinical history, genetics, serially performed skin biopsies, and biochemical studies are reviewed. This form of ichthyosis is different from previously described entities. Lifelong peeling of the general body epidermis, pruritus, short stature, easily removed anagen hairs, and the ability to easily mechanically separate stratum corneum from the rest of the epidermis characterize the syndrome. In two families with this disorder, autosomal recessive inheritance is suggested. A low plasma tryptophan level as present in two patients with this disease. This inherited disorder of the epidermis was first described in 1924 before the genetics and histology of ichthyosis were extensively studied and is a distinct genetic and clinical entity to be considered in unusual cases of ichthyosis.
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