Ectodermal dysplasia is a group of conditions in which there is abnormal development of the skin, hair, nails, teeth, or sweat glands.
There are many different types of ectodermal dysplasia.
Many gene defects can cause ectodermal dysplasias. The most common form of ectodermal dysplasia usually affects men. Other forms of the disease affect men and women equally.
People with ectodermal dysplasia may not sweat or may have decreased sweating because of a lack of sweat glands.
Children with the disease may have difficulty controlling fevers. Mild illness can produce extremely high fevers, because the skin cannot sweat and control temperature properly.
Affected adults are unable to tolerate a warm environment and need special measures to keep a normal body temperature.
Other symptoms include:
Tests that may be done include:
There is no specific treatment for this disorder.
Some things you can do include:
Having ectodermal dysplasia will not shorten your lifespan, but you must pay constant attention to temperature regulation and other problems associated with this condition.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if your child shows symptoms of this disorder.
If you have a family history of ectodermal dysplasia and you are planning to have children, genetic counseling is recommended. In many cases it is possible to diagnose ectodermal dysplasia while the baby is still in the womb.
Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia; Christ-Siemens-Touraine syndrome
Morelli JG. Ectodermal dysplasias. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 648.
Updated by: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, Dermatologist in Private Practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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